This was a recent recommendation by a Victorian Planning Panel
that a planning scheme amendment to impose a Public Acquisition
Overlay (PAO) over land should not, for the time
being, proceed. The Panel's recommendation is of interest
because it is very unusual for a Panel to make such a
By way of background, the PAO is the planning instrument used to
reserve land for future compulsory acquisition. Accordingly, its
imposition is significant for affected landowners. Stonnington City
Council sought to apply a PAO to some properties in the Melbourne
suburb of Armadale to expand a local park and implement the
Council's public open space policies.
The Panel found that while in general terms the planning policy
framework provided in principle strategic support for open space
initiatives, the proposed application of the PAO to the relevant
properties lacked a sound strategic base. The Panel was not
satisfied that the public benefits of the Amendment had been
sufficiently demonstrated to a point where it could support the
Amendment. The recommendation will be highly relevant for future
amendments undertaken by Stonnington City Council to impose PAOs
pursuant to its public open space strategy.
For planning authorities, the Panel recommendation highlights
the need to undertake careful strategic planning and site
selection, pre-exhibition of amendments, to ensure that there is a
strong strategic justification for the planning scheme amendment
that can be defended by the planning authority at the panel
Similarly, for those affected by a planning scheme amendment to
apply a PAO, the report will provide a degree of comfort that such
amendments can, sometimes, be successfully challenged, because once
a PAO is in place it then becomes very difficult to prevent the
compulsory acquisition that is likely to eventually occur.
This publication does not deal with every important topic or
change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute
for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's
specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of
interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice
relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
The High Court of Australia has granted special leave to appeal a decision of the NSWCA that upheld an adjudication determination under the NSW 1999.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).