Gas Connection Amendment VC221

What the amendment does

Amendment VC221 facilitates all-electric developments to support implementation of Victoria’s Climate Change Strategy 2021 (Strategy) and Gas Substitution Roadmap 2022 (Roadmap). The amendment changes the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) and all planning schemes by amending clauses that require developments to be connected to reticulated gas and amending the referral requirements.

The amendment

Before this amendment, provisions in the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) encouraged or required developments to be connected to reticulated gas, including lots containing two or more dwellings. This amendment has removed that requirement from the VPP. The relevant clauses of the VPP now provide that ‘connection to a reticulated gas service is optional’.

In addition, prior to the amendment, clause 66.01 provided that an application for subdivision on certain types of land must be referred to the gas supply authority for comment. Council was obliged to follow the advice of the gas supply authority as the VPP listed them as a Determining Referral Authority. The amendment has removed this requirement. The VPP now provide that only subdivisions which are proposed to be connected to reticulated gas are referred to the local gas authority.

Effect of the amendment

This change to the planning scheme will likely provide consumers and developers with a greater degree of choice in relation to what type of energy they would prefer to service their development. Whilst connection to reticulated gas is still available, it is no longer mandated. This leaves it open to developers to consider alternative energy sources and is a welcome step towards reducing the carbon emissions of residential dwellings, which are one of the largest contributors to Victoria’s carbon footprint.

What does this mean for future planning permit applications?

All new planning permit applications for development received by Council will no longer be required to provide for connection to a reticulated gas service, it is now optional and only subdivisions which are proposed to be connected to reticulated gas are referred to the local gas authority.

Should you have any questions about this amendment or existing planning permit applications please contact councils planning team on (03) 5348 2306 or email us.