Independent panel to assess C186

Published on 27 February 2020

A Google Maps view of Sassafras from above.

Yarra Ranges Council will request the Minister for Planning appoint an Independent Planning Panel to consider all submissions for the proposed Amendment C186 rezoning and planning permit at 361-365 Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Sassafras.

The amendment seeks to rezone the site from a Green Wedge A Zone – Schedule 1 (GWAZ1) to a Commercial 1 Zone (C1Z) to recognise the ongoing commercial use of the land and apply an addition Design and Development Overlay to ensure key green wedge subdivision provisions were retained.

The planning permit application submitted with the amendment would to reissue a permit for existing buildings and works and additional minor buildings and works under the proposed C1Z. 

As a result of exhibition Council received 85 submissions.

Key concerns about the application were about possible future development of the site, preserving existing green wedge land and the how the proposed rezoning mitigates bushfire risk.

This feedback has resulted in officers recommending further changes to the proposed amendment, such as:

  • Applying a Specific Control Overlay (SCO) which would apply site-specific planning requirements to the land, such as restricting further subdivision, and prohibiting certain uses of the land which would result in introducing more people into an area of high fire risk.  
  • Requiring the applicant to submit and implement a Wastewater Management Plan, and to enter into a Section 173 agreement with Council to ensure future landowners and operators are provided with that plan.

Due to the range of issues expressed in submissions, it isn’t possible for Council to resolve all the matters raised.

The next required step in the process is for this proposal to go before an independent planning panel, established by the Minister for Planning, where they will consider all submissions including those from Council, community members, developers, government agencies and service providers.

The Planning Panel will consider all submissions and make recommendations to Council.

Council will then consider the Panel’s recommendations before deciding whether the Amendment should be adopted, adopted with changes or abandoned.

Both the Directions and the Planning Panel Hearings will be open to the public.  

Mayor, Richard Higgins, said the Planning Panel would give residents more opportunity to share their thoughts about the proposal.

Our decision at the Council meeting will begin another part of the Planning Scheme Amendment process, where submitters can continue to have their say on the application and its changes, and have them considered by the independent panel,” Cr Higgins said.

“All submitters will be notified in writing about this step and we’ll continue to work with them to clarify and resolve any outstanding issues they have, where possible.”

For more information about Planning Scheme Amendment C186, and to read the application in more detail, visit


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