Planning Committee. Terms of Reference

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1 Planning Committee Terms of Reference

2 SURF COAST SHIRE PLANNING COMMITTEE TERMS OF REFERENCE (As amended May 2015) 1. Establishment of the Committee The Surf Coast Planning Committee ( the Committee ) is a Special Committee of Council established under Section 86 of the Local Government Act Planning is delegated to the Committee by Council as the Responsible Authority under Section 188(1)(a) of the Planning and Environment Act The Committee will be selected from a panel of 9 community members with full voting rights, 4 of whom will constitute the Committee from time to time as scheduled by the Statutory Planning Coordinator. The Committee will be advised by one (1) Council officer with the right to debate but not to vote on matters before the Committee. 2. Responsibilities of the Committee Under the Instrument of Delegation, the Committee's responsibilities are limited to deciding planning permit applications where one of the following conditions exist: 4 objections or more have been received to an application or; a Council officer is recommending refusal of the application; 3. Objectives of the Committee The Committee s objective is to determine relevant planning applications in accordance with the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and Surf Coast s Planning Scheme. Under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 the following broad principles are relevant to deciding planning applications: To provide for the fair, orderly, economic and sustainable use and development of land in the Surf Coast Shire. To provide for the protection of natural and man-made resources and the maintenance of ecological processes and genetic diversity. To secure a pleasant, efficient and safe working, living and recreational environment for all Victorians and visitors to Victoria. To conserve and enhance those buildings, areas or other places which are of scientific, aesthetic, architectural or historical interest, or otherwise of special cultural value. To protect public utilities and other assets and enable the orderly provision and co-ordination of public utilities and other facilities for the benefit of the community. To facilitate development in accordance with the objectives set out in paragraphs 1,2, 3 and 4. To balance the present and future interests of all Victorians.

3 4. Consideration of Planning Permit Applications In considering planning permit applications referred to it for decision, the Committee shall have regard to the following requirements of Section 60(1) of the Planning and Environment Act: 1. "Before deciding on an application, the responsible authority: a) must consider: i) all objections and other submissions which it has received and which have not been withdrawn; and ii) iii) any decision and comments of a referral authority which it has received; and any significant effects which the responsible authority considers the use or development may have on the environment or which the responsible authority considers the environment may have on the use or development; and b) if the circumstances appear to so require, may consider: i) any significant social and economic effects of the use or development for which the application is made; and ii) iii) any strategic plan, policy statement, code, guideline or amendment to the planning scheme which has been adopted by a planning authority and is in force but which does not yet form part of the planning scheme; and any other relevant matter." The Committee will decide on applications in accordance with the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and may place conditions on permits as defined in Section 62(1) and (2) of the Act. In addition to the Planning and Environment Act 1987, the Committee shall recognise the requirements of: The Surf Coast Shire Planning Scheme. State Government Policies. Council Planning Policies. Council Guidelines. Council reserves the right to "call-in" a decision on any planning permit application and may seek advice or a recommendation from the Committee in respect to any application to be decided by Council. 5. Appointment of Members The criteria for the appointment of members shall be based on achieving a reasonable geographical representation across the Shire, for members to have an appropriate level of experience/expertise and communication, negotiation and conflict resolution skills. Geographical representation shall be sought for the broad areas of: Torquay / Jan Juc Anglesea / Aireys Inlet Lorne Rural / rural township Experience, expertise or special interest shall be sought in the fields of: Architecture / urban design Agriculture Environment / landscape design Evidence of the following shall be sought: Ability to foster an exchange of ideas. Ability to mediate and negotiate outcomes.

4 Conflict resolution skills. Demonstrated listening skills and an ability to speak in a clear and articulate way in communicating with people and making verbal presentations In considering expressions of interest from nominees the level of experience/expertise shall generally take precedence over fulfilling geographic representation. Members will be appointed for a term of 4 years to match the Council cycle and expressions of interest for the Planning Committee will be completed by October of the year following the election of a new Council. Existing members can reapply for a further term. In the event Planning Committee members resign during the term then an expression of interest process for the vacant roles can be undertaken. Nominees for the Planning Committee shall be addressed and interviewed by the Mayor, Manager Planning & Development, Co-ordinator Statutory Planning and a Planning Committee member with appointments to be made by resolution of Council. Appointment to the Panel can be rescinded by a decision of Council on the recommendation of the Planning and Development Manager. 6. Committee Procedures 6.1 Interests All members of a Special Committee of Council are required to complete a "Register of Interests" as required by Section 81 of the Local Government Act and shall act in accordance with Sections 78 and 79 of that Act. A Committee member shall not sit as a member of any meeting that is deciding on an application in which he/she has an interest (either as an applicant or objector). The member may attend such meeting and present a submission to the Committee as an applicant or objector as part of the normal process for submitters detailed in 6.2 (g). 6.2 Operation of the Committee (a) Meetings will be held at the Shire offices, Grossmans Road, Torquay at dates and times to be predetermined by the Committee. (b) (c) The rostering of Committee members will ensure that the Committee consists of a range of expert skills (eg: planner, architect, builder, rural) to ensure a range of views in determining applications and that no more than one member who has attended less than 20 Committee meetings shall be present. Reasonable notice of meetings of the Planning Committee will be provided to applicant and objectors. (As a general reference, reasonable notice is deemed to be five (5) days prior to the meeting, however the Committee reserves the right to give lesser notice if the circumstances warrant.) (d) Advice of likely applications and their location will be forwarded to Committee members 10 days prior to the meeting for information. The formal Agenda for each meeting will be prepared by an officer nominated by the Manager planning and Development and forwarded to Committee members at least four (4) days prior to the meeting.

5 (e) (f) (g) (h) (i) (j) The Committee will be chaired by a Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson appointed by the Council for a period of 12 months and cannot sit for a period more than 2 continuous years. If the Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson is not present the members must appoint one of their number to chair the meeting. The quorum for a meeting will be three (3) voting members. In accordance with Section 89 of the Local Government Act, meetings of the Planning Committee are open to the public, but the Committee may resolve to close the meeting to members of the public if the meeting is discussing any of the following: the personal hardship of any resident or ratepayer; legal advice; any other matter which the Council or special committee considers would prejudice the Council or any person. The Committee may hear verbal submissions from applicants and objectors wishing to expand on their written submissions. The Committee decision shall be by majority decision. In the event of there being an equal division of votes, the Chairperson of the Committee meeting will have the casting vote. The Committee may at any time refer any application to the Council for determination. (Refer Part 7). Administrative and secretarial assistance for the Committee will be provided by Council. 7. Council Call-In Procedures Provision for a planning application to be referred to, or called-in by, Council is an essential part of the community based committee system. It acknowledges that certain applications are best dealt with by the full Council rather than the Committee, due to the level of community interest generated by an application or an issue of policy is raised that should be handled by Council. The referral or call-in ability is not a tool to be used lightly. If abused it would undermine the role of the Planning Committee and defeat the acknowledged advantages of the planning committee system. Criteria for referral of, or calling-in, an application: The following guidelines set out the criteria by which an application for planning permit would be considered by the Council rather than the Planning Committee. An application may be referred to Council by the Planning and Development Manager, Statutory Planning Coordinator or the Planning Committee, or may be called in by Council through a decision of Council at a Council meeting. It would be normal for an application being referred or called-in to fall into more than one of the following listed criteria. Receipt of a significant number of objections highlighting wide community concern ie 15 or more objections. Proposal seeks a significant variance from the performance standard, which may have future decision making and policy implications. There is conflicting policy or a policy vacuum, which may have future decision making and policy implications. The process for calling in an application is outlined by the flow diagram shown in Diagram 1.

6 Diagram 1: Process for calling in an application. Scenario 1 Councillor asks nominated planning officers. Is a planning application to be referred? Scenario 2 Nominated Planning officers or Planning Committee advises an application is to be referred No Yes 1. Application is to be considered by Council 5 Councillors agree to include item for next Council meeting for discussion and vote Yes 2. Item put to vote at Council meeting. Is majority vote gained? No Application to be dealt with under delegation by Planning Committee

7 8. Reporting to Council It is a statutory requirement to report all decisions made under delegation to the delegating authority, in this case, the Council. Advice of pending committee meetings, agendas and decisions of the Planning Committee are to be reported to Council prior to and following each committee meeting via the 'Councillors Update', (an internal communique produced weekly) or by some other approved format. The minutes of the Planning Committee meetings are to be reported to Council via Council meetings. It is acknowledged that for the community based Planning Committee to continue to succeed and maintain the support and confidence of the Council, the system must be open and clear with good lines of communication and feedback. This must go beyond the statutory level of reporting requirements. To ensure Council is kept abreast of Committee decisions and performance and to facilitate communication between the Committee and Council the following additional reporting measures shall be undertaken: Provision of statistics and graphs as appropriate to indicate trends every 12 months shall be provided to Council covering the following information: percentage of applications considered by Committee; percentage of Committee decisions reviewed at VCAT; and Success rate of Committee decisions being upheld by VCAT. A meeting between Councillors and the Planning Committee shall be held every 12 months to review the statutory process and encourage feedback from the Committee on policy and other matters. Provision shall be made in the Committee minutes to record the following: Why the matter was determined by the Planning Committee i.e. objections or refusal Resolutions of Committee on planning issues, whether process or policy, that arise from committee meetings and these shall be reported to Council at the 12 monthly meeting. These Terms of Reference were originally adopted by Council on 21 September, 1994 and amended or reviewed: 2 January July 2001 September 2002 October October July 2008 March 2009 August 2011 November 2011 April July 2013 May 2015

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