State Planning Provisions

Planning Reform documents

  • State Planning Provisions (PDF, 3.2 MB)
    The State Planning Provisions of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme include the identification and purpose, the administrative requirements and processes,the zones with standard use and development provisions, and the codes with standard provisions.

FAQs

What do the State Planning Provisions include?

The State Planning Provisions provide the statewide consistent set of planning rules.

These rules include the Tasmanian Planning Scheme’s purpose and objectives, consistent and contemporary planning definitions, exemptions, use classes, and administrative provisions such as development application requirements.

The State Planning Provisions includes 23 generic zones which indicate what land use and development is appropriate for each zone such as residential, business, agriculture, utilities, environmental and recreational uses.

In addition, there are a suite of 16 codes which provide clear pathways for dealing with land use issues which occur across Tasmania and may apply across a range of zones, covering matters such as natural hazards, local heritage values, natural assets, parking requirements and the protection of road, railway and electricity infrastructure.

The State Planning Provisions also include the template for each council’s Local Provisions Schedule.

Councils will choose from the suite of zones provided in the State Planning Provisions to express their community’s land use strategies through their Local Provision Schedules.

Who was responsible for preparing the State Planning Provisions?

The Minister is responsible under the Act for preparing the State Planning Provisions or can direct the Tasmanian Planning Commission to prepare them.

The Planning Reform Taskforce provided the Minister with advice regarding the first draft of the State Planning Provisions. In undertaking this work, the Planning Reform Taskforce consulted extensively with local government, stakeholder groups and state agencies and authorities.

Following this the Minister undertook further consultation with councils and state agencies before approving the first draft of the State Planning Provisions for public exhibition.

Who was responsible assessing the draft of the State Planning Provisions?

The independent Tasmanian Planning Commission was responsible for public exhibition, assessment and reporting on the draft of the State Planning Provisions.

The matters the Tasmanian Planning Commission was required to consider are set out in the Act which provides for the criteria that the State Planning Provisions must meet. These include furthering the Objectives of the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993(the Act) and compliance with State Policies.

The process the Tasmanian Planning Commission followed is also set out in the Act and includes public exhibition, and the opportunity to make representation.

Upon concluding its consideration of the first draft of the State Planning Provisions, the Tasmanian Planning Commission provided its assessment report under s.25 of the Act to the Minister.

The Minister subsequently made the State Planning Provisions in accordance with s.27 of the Act. The Minister determined that draft of the State Planning Provisions that were exhibited should be modified but that the modifications did not require re-exhibition.

The reasons the Minister has modified the State Planning Provisions are set out in the Minister’s Statement of Reasons.

What happened to the representations made in relation to the draft of the State Planning Provisions?

Public involvement is a key element of the planning system. The Tasmanian Planning Commission (the Commission) was required under the Act to publicly exhibit the draft of the State Planning Provisions for 60 days. That exhibition ran from 15 March until 18 May 2016. Any person or organisation was able to make a representation to the Tasmanian Planning Commission on the draft of the State Planning Provisions during this period.

Following this, the Commission conducted a series of public hearings covering 25 days as part of its consideration of the draft of the State Planning Provisions. Anyone who made a written representation was invited to address their concerns at these hearings.

Under the legislation the Commission had 90 days from the close of the exhibition to report to the Minister on the State Planning Provisions and recommend any modifications. The Minister extended the time available to the Commission to provide its report by a further 3 months (to 9 December 2016).

The Commission’s report includes a summary of the representations, along with the Commission’s opinion as to the merits of those representations, and also a summary of the information obtained at the hearings in relation to the drafts of the State Planning Provisions.

The Commission handed its report to the Minister on Friday 9 December and the Minister considered the report and the specific recommendations it contains before making the State Planning Provisions on 22 February 2017.

Go to the Tasmanian Planning Commission’s assessment report on the exhibited draft of the State Planning Provisions provided to the Minister under s.25(1) of the Act.

Is the introduction of the State Planning Provisions related to recent changes to the planning rules affecting my land?

There have been a number of changes to the planning rules applying to property recently in Tasmania. These are related to the replacement of older planning schemes with the introduction of new interim planning schemes. There are now 28 interim planning schemes in effect across the State, excluding Flinders Island and the Sullivans Cove planning area.

While these interim planning schemes changes are not connected to the State Planning Provisions, it is anticipated that councils will translate current interim planning scheme zones and overlays, where appropriate, to their Local Provisions Schedule to spatially apply the set of consistent planning rules in the State Planning Provisions.

Although now finalised and made, the State Planning Provisions will not apply to property for some time because the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 requires each council to prepare a Local Provisions Schedule for their municipal area, place it on public exhibition and, with the agreement of the Minister, have it approved by the Tasmanian Planning Commission.

Therefore, the current planning rules contained within interim planning schemes will continue to apply until the Local Provisions Schedules for the relevant municipal area has been approved through a later process. When this occurs, the Tasmanian Planning Scheme will apply.

While the preparation of the State Planning Provisions had regard to the provisions in many of the current interim planning schemes, they are not identical and therefore some of the controls in place will change when the Local Provisions Schedules become operational.

How do the planning rules in interim planning schemes compare with the State Planning Provisions?

The range of zones in the State Planning Provisions is similar to those in interim planning schemes, reflecting the suite of zones set out in Planning Directive No.1 – the Format and Structure of Planning Schemes. The State Planning Provisions also provide for the same sort of local variations in Particular Purpose Zones and Specific Area Plans as set out in Planning Directive No.1.

The Planning Directive No.1 template is however, silent on the range and scope of codes and provides no standard range of issues to be covered. Consequently, the codes in current interim planning schemes across the State vary considerably, as the preparation of these was left to the regional planning bodies and individual councils.

There is no single set of codes that the State Planning Provisions can be compared against. For example there is no code called Biodiversity in every interim planning scheme, and where there is such a code included it is often drafted and applied quite differently from one municipal area to another. While the range of codes in the State Planning Provisions is different to the variety in current interim planning schemes, the range of issues covered by the codes is comparable.

It is anticipated that where applicable, councils will translate their current interim planning schemes zones into the new zones that the State Planning Provisions provide. This should mean that the broad zoning of land will not substantially change compared with interim planning schemes.

Which of the State Planning Provisions will apply to my property?

The suite of zones in the State Planning Provisions is very similar to those already in place in the interim planning schemes. The majority of land will be translated into the same zone when each Local Provisions Schedule is prepared by the council. The planning rules in the State Planning Provisions have been derived from analysing those in place in interim planning schemes and in many cases are very similar.

In brief, it is anticipated that the zoning will remain the same in the majority of situations.

During the preparation of Local Provisions Schedules, if it is considered that a particular property or area warrants a different zoning or local variation from those provided for in the State Planning Provisions, there will be an opportunity to review this, provided the relevant local council and the Tasmanian Planning Commission agree. The criteria for such a change must meet the requirements set out in the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993.

Further character statements and local area objectives

Some interim planning schemes set out desired future character statements and local area objectives. How do the State Planning Provisions provide for this?

The Planning Directive No.1 – the Format and Structure of Planning Schemes provides the framework for all interim planning schemes currently in place across Tasmania.  It includes two mechanisms for local communities to express preferences about the way they wish particular local areas to be used or developed, namely Desired Future Character Statements and Local Area Objectives. These are not used in all current interim planning schemes, and in some are only applied in certain zones.

In interim planning schemes, the application of these mechanisms is limited to assessment of discretionary uses in zones and where a development is discretionary and assessed against a performance criterion which specifically ‘calls up’ Desired Future Character Statements or Local Area Objectives. They are also used inconsistently and interchangeably across the State in interim planning schemes.

The State Planning Provisions have retained the intent of these but sensibly merged them into a single concept called Local Area Objectives. The application of these in the State Planning Provisions will be exactly the same as in interim planning schemes.

Local Area Objectives can be prepared by a local council for any zone of specific area plan for inclusion in the Local Provisions Schedule. They may be used to assess a discretionary use in any zone, not just those that have a reference to them in the performance criteria. They may be also used to assess a discretionary development when specifically referred to in the Performance Criteria.

However, Local Area Objectives cannot be drafted and applied in a manner that sets requirements that are more restrictive than the Acceptable Solutions in the zone. For example, if the Acceptable Solution provides for a height of a building to be 8.5m if it is setback 4.5m from the frontage, then the Local Area Objective cannot restrict the height to less than 8.5m at the same setback but could seek to control the height for that part of the building that is closer to the frontage.

The State Planning Provisions do not include the specific Local Area Objectives but they do provide the mechanism for them to be included within the Local Provisions Schedules.

Special or unique planning controls

My property or area has special or unique planning controls. How will these be reflected in the Tasmanian Planning Scheme?

Some current interim planning schemes include a number of special planning areas or provisions which are controlled by particular purpose zones, specific area plans or may have property-specific qualifications in the relevant Use Table (known as specified departures in some old planning schemes). There are approximately 30 particular purpose zones and 70 specific area plans in current interim planning schemes across the State.

The Act allows for particular purpose zones, specific area plans and site-specific qualifications to be part of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme and used in a similar way as in interim planning schemes. The Act provides for these to be directly transferred from current interim planning schemes to the appropriate mechanism in the Local Provisions Schedules, unless the Minister, following consultation with the Tasmanian Planning Commission, determines that this should not happen.

Additionally, councils may prepare and introduce new particular purpose zones, specific area plans and site-specific qualifications as part of their Local Provisions Schedule, however these will be subject to assessment against the criteria for Local Provisions Schedules set out in the Act.  An individual may also seek to have one included by making a representation in response to the draft Local Provisions Schedule when it is subject to exhibition and assessment.

The Act limits the circumstances when a particular purpose zone, specific area plan or a site-specific qualifications can be approved to those which relate to:

  • significant social, economic or environmental benefit to the State, a region or a municipal area; or
  • a site which has particular environmental, economic, social or spatial qualities that requires a unique approach to the planning controls.

Particular purpose zones, specific area plans or site-specific qualifications should be limited to very specific (if not unique) situations where application of the State Planning Provisions will not deliver a planning outcome consistent with the sustainable development objectives of the Act. They cannot be used to deliver modified standards over a number of local areas because of a view that the State Planning Provisions standards are not appropriate.