CFA has developed standard planning permit conditions in consultation with the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) and councils to assist with the processing of permit applications in the Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO).
Recent changes to the bushfire planning controls have led to the incorporation of some of CFA's standard permit conditions into the planning scheme itself, specifically water supply and vegetation management requirements. This provides more certainty for permit applicants regarding what bushfire protection measures must be undertaken at their site and included in their application to reduce the bushfire risk to an acceptable level.
You may still opt to seek a tailored response for your site provided you obtain the written approval of CFA. Where you choose to tailor part of your proposal to reflect your individual site, you should clearly state this in your application, including a justification for the change and whether you have sought and obtained the approval of CFA before lodging your application with council.
The standard planning permit conditions strongly align with the bushfire planning requirements and the bushfire protection measures required under the planning scheme. They are often used as a starting point when assessing what requirements should be applied to any given application. However, they may change based on the merits of the application and its individual characteristics.
These conditions can also be used as a starting point for applicants preparing a permit application under the BMO.
Using the standard permit conditions
The standard planning permit conditions (PDF 792k) were designed to assist decision makers and permit applicants understand the general standard conditions for bushfire protection measures that are likely to be applied to most development applications under the BMO in some form.
The standard conditions do not reflect the specific characteristics or unique circumstances of each site and therefore there may be situations where the standard requirements need to be modified as part CFA’s conditional approval of a planning permit application. There are a number of factors that are required to be considered in the assessment of a proposed development and these may contribute to CFA applying a site specific condition. The location of the land and bushfire behaviour, surrounding topography, type of vegetation and landscape influences and the ability to access and egress the site are just some examples of factors that may lead to a specific condition being placed on a particular permit.
CFA will use the bushfire hazard site assessment, bushfire hazard landscape assessment and bushfire management statement (BMS) to assess the individual requirements of a site.
Tailoring Standard Permit Requirements
An application can be made to tailor requirements for an individual site. CFA commonly works with permit applicants and local councils to tailor an application to address certain aspects of a proposal. Management of vegetation in the area of defendable space is the most frequent area where a tailored solution is often sought.
The recent changes to the bushfire planning controls now require vegetation management and water supply to meet planning scheme requirements under Clause 52.47 unless a schedule to the BMO states otherwise or CFA agrees to the change in writing.
An application to tailor requirements for your site must justify why an alternative proposal is being sought and demonstrate how and why the alternative proposal is appropriate given the likely bushfire behaviour and risk to the land, the surrounding landscape, the purpose of the requirement and having consideration of any relevant objectives or decision guidelines of the planning scheme.
If you are considering a tailored planning application or want to understand the intent and purpose of the conditions in more detail, refer to the bushfire mitigation measures explanatory material that support these conditions.
CFA also recommends that you discuss your application with council and CFA's Fire Safety Team (phone 9262 8578) when you are looking to apply a tailored response as part of your proposal.
Structure of the standard planning permit conditions
The standard planning permit conditions for buildings and works applications are divided into the following five sub-headings:
|2||Defendable space||PDF 329k|
|4||Water supply||PDF 468k|
|5||Construction standards||PDF 311k|
For more information on standard subdivision conditions, please contact CFA’s Fire Safety Team on 9262 8578.
The glossary of terms should be a starting point to understand some of the terminology used in the standard planning permit conditions.