What is the Amendment C137maro about?

    The Amendment proposes to introduce the Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) Local Policy that sets out application requirements for particular types of developments. More specifically, it will prescribe when a Sustainable Design Assessment (SDA) or a Sustainability Management Plan (SMP) needs to be prepared and submitted with planning permit application.

    What specifically does the Amendment C137maro affect?

    New residential developments comprising 3 – 9 dwellings or alterations and additions creating 500-999 square metre or more of additional gross floor area (excluding outbuildings) will require an Sustainable Design Assessment (SDA). 

    Residential developments of 10 or more dwellings or alterations and additions with a gross floor area of more than 1000 square metre will trigger preparation and submission of an Sustainability Management Plan (SMP) with a planning permit application.

    All non-residential buildings with a gross floor area between 500 square metres and 999 square metres will require the submission of an SDA, and a non-residential development with a gross floor area of 1000 square metre or more will require an SMP. 

    Why do we need an Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) Local Planning Policy?

    The primary purpose of an ESD Local Planning Policy is to achieve best practice in ESD from design stage right through to construction and beyond for both new residential and non-residential buildings. The justifications for including requirements to achieve sustainable development were clearly set out by findings of the Environmentally Efficient Design Advisory Committee for the Councils which have previously adopted a local ESD policy. Preparation of the ESD Local Policy has been identified as a piece of further strategic work in the Maroondah Municipal Strategic Statement.

    These proposed changes to planning requirements for residential and non-residential developments will help to:

    • Improve amenity and liveability of homes including daylight and natural ventilation.
    • Reduce energy use and associated costs
    • Reduce waste to landfill during construction.
    • Improve the materials used to ensure they are robust, durable, non-toxic and have high recycled content.
    • Improve infrastructure provided for sustainable modes of transport.
    • Reduce reliance on potable water for non-drinking purposes and increase recycled water use onsite.

    As a result, the C137 Amendment will introduce an ESD Local Planning Policy into the Maroondah Planning Scheme and strengthen the ability for Council to consider ESD early in the design process.

    What are the benefits of considering ESD at the planning stage?

    It will assist to:

    • Optimise a building’s design as early as possible – when it comes at the lowest cost. 
    • Provide planning certainty in relation to ESD by addressing the National Construction Code of Australia (NCC) energy efficiency requirements as early as possible and in some instances require performance beyond the code. 
    • Factors such as a building’s orientation, external shading, re-use of water and the materials used can make a lasting difference to the environment and provide improved indoor comfort. 
    • Building to best practice standards today not only future-proofs occupants against the rising costs of power and water and threats of climate change, but commonly commands higher property returns in the future.

    What are the application requirements set out by the proposed ESD Local Planning Policy?

    The Policy sets out application requirements for particular types of developments. More specifically, it will prescribe when a Sustainable Design Assessment (SDA) or a Sustainability Management Plan (SMP) needs to be prepared and submitted with a planning permit application. Residential developments comprising 3 – 9 dwellings or alterations and additions creating 500 square metre or more of additional gross floor area (excluding outbuildings) will require an SDA. Residential developments of 10 or more dwellings or alterations and additions with a gross floor area of more than 1000 square metre will trigger preparation and submission of an SMP with a planning permit application. All non-residential buildings with a gross floor area between 500 square metres and 999 square metres will require the submission of an SDA, and a non-residential development with a gross floor area of 1000 square metre or more will require an SMP.

    What are the Sustainability Assessment Tools?

    The online sustainability assessment tool, Built Environment Sustainable Scorecard (BESS) is the recommended tool to assess small to medium residential developments and smaller commercial developments. The information required to complete a BESS assessment is simple for small developments and increases in complexity for larger developments. Green Star Design and As-Built is the recommended tool for larger commercial developments. To find out more about BESS visit the BESS website and to find out more about Green Star visit the GBCA website.

    How long will it take me to prepare an SDA?

    A Sustainable Design Assessment (SDA) can be prepared by the applicant and commonly does not need to be prepared by an expert in the ESD field.

    We highly recommend using the free online sustainability assessment tool BESS and submit a printout report with your application.

    Can the applicant complete a SMP?

    In most situations a Sustainable Management Plan (SMP) will require expert advice from a suitably qualified person such as an environmental engineer or specialist ESD consultant. The qualifications, skills and experience of any consultant engaged to complete an SMP should be checked by the applicant prior to engaging their services. Being qualified to complete thermal ratings alone may not be sufficient to adequately complete an SMP. A member of the Statutory Planning team and council’s dedicated ESD Officer are also available to provide design advice in relation to ESD at a pre-application meeting.

    Who should I speak to if I need further information?

    If you would like to discuss any questions in relation to the Amendment C137maro, please contact Strategic Planning team at 9398 4250.