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Sustainable design added to the Planning Scheme

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The City of Greater Bendigo will become the first regional council to have an Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) policy added to its Planning Scheme.

The Victorian Minister for Planning has approved Amendment GC 110, which incorporates the ESD policy into the planning scheme for Greater Bendigo and six metropolitan councils.

The amendment will apply to all medium-large density developments of three or more dwellings, and will require these dwellings to demonstrate energy efficiency initiatives, such as achieving a seven star energy rating.

The policy also applies to medium-large scale commercial and industrial developments, requiring them to address energy and water initiatives appropriate to the scale of the development.

Director Strategy and Growth Bernie O’Sullivan said the amendment followed a pilot program to provide free ESD assessments for planning permit applications of this size.

“We have spent the last 15 months working with developers to offer voluntary assessments to assist people to consider ESD in their building designs,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

“By targeting developments of three or more dwellings, the amendment will ensure the biggest impact without affecting smaller, ‘mum and dad developers’.

“Alongside this amendment, we have updated our Sustainable Building Policy for Council buildings and have been working with other councils to look at how ESD can be better incorporated into subdivisions.

“We have also adopted Sustainable Infrastructure Guidelines, which provide guidance for sustainable design alternatives to be used in infrastructure and subdivisions.

“In line with Council’s commitment to One Planet principles, we have been doing a lot of work to require and encourage better choices in design and construction of new buildings and infrastructure.

“There is a lot more to be done in this space, but the approval of this amendment is a very positive step forward and will ensure a higher standard of design is incorporated to all new medium-large scale developments in Greater Bendigo.”

Amendment GC 110 and the new ESD policy were introduced into the Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme today. A free training session will be held to assist developers to understand the new requirements and information will be made available for the community on the City’s website.

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