Victorian Society Director Joe O'Donnell responds to proposed changes to the planning system.
Victorian Society Director Joe O'Donnell has responded to proposed changes to the planning system put forward by the Government in August. Joe states, 'Some of the proposed changes to the planning system as set out in the consultation have the potential to be improvements such as simplifying local plans and developing pattern books and design codes. The Victorian Society would like to be involved in their development. However, we have serious concerns about the lack of information in the consultation about the impact of proposals on heritage assets. The growth and renewal areas need to have a clear understanding of what heritage is in these areas before any permissions are granted. This will take both time and investment.' Joe goes on to say, 'this ‘once in a generation’ reform of the planning system is a key opportunity to ensure that the system isn’t just geared to meet the needs of developers by making housebuilding easier but it also better protects the historic environment. We welcome the Minister’s comment that no reduction in protection for heritage is intended, but this is an opportunity to go further and make our heritage protection world leading. Better understanding and protection of heritage assets helps ‘level up’ and create the interesting and beautiful places which people want to live in.'