Page 6

Page 6 Friday, 18 July, 2014

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CUTS: Faster planning processes will attract investors to central Geelong, says Darryn Lyons. Picture: REG RYAN

‘European city’ plan for centre

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CENTRAL Geelong could be “just like the best cities in Europe” with a new planning system to slash red tape, according to Mayor Darryn Lyons. He said adopting a “tweaked” version of the VicSmart system would be a “big improvement”, cutting waiting times and processes for common applications such as liquor licences and shop alterations. “One of the reasons I ran for mayor was to cut through planning red tape. This is something I’m absolutely passionate about. “The new VicSmart system will streamline the planning process in central Geelong with 10day turnaround times for the six most-common types of applications. VicSmart will remove the

time factor from applications including café and restaurant liquor licences between trading hours of 7am to 11pm.” “Also of benefit is an increase in the VicSmart trigger point for shop fit-outs and alterations from $50,000 to $250,000 and a waiver of car parking for the reuse of existing buildings.” Council voted last week to seek the Planning Minister’s approval to incorporate VicSmart into the scheme for central Geelong. “We’ve taken the state-wide VicSmart system and tweaked it for central Geelong to open the gates to investment and development,” Cr Lyons said. He expected the proposed

changes would “fast-track development and investment needed to attract more people to live and work in our city centre … just like the best cities in Europe”. “Faster decision-making means less cost for applicants and more certainty for potential investors and business start-ups.” Cr Lyons said the planning changes would help deliver on council’s plan for 10,000 residents, 10,000 students and 30,000 workers in central Geelong. Council has also sought changes to reduce or remove conditions limiting specific uses, such as accommodation, in particular “sub-precincts” as well as the removal of notice, objection and appeal provisions for applications.

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Geelong Independent - 18th July 2014  
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