Referral of sub-division applications to the Country Fire Authority (CFA) in relation to new road access and fire hydrants are imposing an unnecessary administrative burden and time delays for developers.
The Victorian Planning Provisions (VPPs) contain provisions that ensure residential subdivision design provides for effective firefighting infrastructure, principally road access and fire hydrants, within CFA’s jurisdiction. Clause 56.09-3 sets out the requirement for fire hydrants in subdivisions and 66.01 instructs councils to refer these matters to CFA for consideration where the requirements of Clause 56.09-3 are not met. No similar requirement exists for the Metropolitan Fire District.
Some councils routinely refer matters under clause 66.01 to CFA at an early stage of the process, preceding the preparation and submission of sufficiently detailed plans by developers for council to judge whether Clause 56.06-3 requirements will be met.
A referral to CFA triggers assessment, certification and a statement of compliance. This represents an over assessment of new roads and imposes unnecessary delays and an administrative burden for developers.
In the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP), the current Clause 56.09-3 states:
Fire hydrants should be provided:
Hydrants and fire plugs must be compatible with the relevant fire service equipment. Where the provision of fire hydrants and fire plugs does not comply with the requirement of standard C29, fire hydrants must be provided to the satisfaction of the relevant fire authority.
It is acknowledged that some local councils are referring all planning permit applications for subdivision, even if Clause 56.09-3 is being met. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning will continue to work closely with the MAV, the CFA and other emergency service agencies to clarify, review and simplify the existing planning advice and information provided to local councils to address this issue and update the planning scheme, based on the advice from the CFA.