Page 2116 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 2 August 2016

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Planning and Development Act, pursuant to subsection 79(1)—Approval of Variation No. 346 to the Territory Plan—Residential Solar Access Provisions, dated 1 August 2016, including associated documents.

I ask leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MR GENTLEMAN: Variation 346 to the territory plan proposes to amend the territory plan provisions relating to solar access for residential development. This includes changes to the single dwelling housing development code, the multi-unit housing development code and the Coombs and Wright concept plans.

Variation 346 was prepared to further refine solar access provisions following the commencement of variation 306. Monitoring the outcomes of variation 306 revealed that some of the solar access provisions were having unintended planning outcomes, including pushing new dwellings much closer to their northern boundary and increasing the amount of excavation occurring on the site. This was resulting in increased construction costs and delays as developments need to obtain additional planning approvals.

The changes proposed in the variation 346 will address these issues and prevent issues that might otherwise have arisen as new suburbs are released with steeper slopes. This variation was developed through extensive consultation with industry groups and the community. The amended provisions will better meet the needs of the community and industry while ensuring solar access is retained for residential development.

Draft variation 346 was released for public comment between 18 February and 7 April this year and attracted 103 submissions within the consultation period. Of these, 68 supported the proposed changes and one further submission supported the changes subject to separate changes to the planning and development regulation. The main concerns raised in submissions related to the potential impacts on neighbouring residences and the added impact of applying exempt development provisions, for example, building tolerances.

A review of the planning and development regulation is currently underway in response to concerns raised through the public consultation and focuses on building tolerances and exemptions. These are separate to the territory plan variation process and will further strengthen protections for solar access. While I have approved variation 346 I have requested the variation and any changes to the regulation commence at the same time.

After reviewing the recommended version I also requested the Planning and Land Authority to undertake further consultation with industry and community representatives. This consultation indicated that the community remained concerned about the application of these new rules in existing areas. Accordingly, I directed the Planning and Land Authority to consider amending variation 346 to limit the key changes to solar access provisions to new greenfield sites.

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