Compliance and enforcement

Residential encroachment on critical industries


Increasing urban development in Victoria is leading to residential areas being built closer to existing industry. With Melbourne’s population estimated to increase to be 7.7 million by 2051, EPA recognises that residential development will need to increase. However, residential encroachment and intensification near critical industrial facilities can impact on the health and amenity of future residents as well as the viability of these industries.

Through this program EPA is working with key stakeholders in government, the community and industry to ensure that:

  • industries are upgraded or located so they will have minimum off-site impact
  • the health and amenity of new residents are protected from nearby industry through appropriate buffers.
  • the viability of key industries is not threatened
  • strategic planning recognises and manages encroachment

What is EPA focusing on?

In 2014–15, EPA’s encroachment program will continue to pilot our approach to issues with critical industries under threat of encroachment. Current pilots include Boral Deer Park Landfill, Midfield Meats Abattoir and Warragul Waste Water Treatment Plant. We will work with planning authorities, industry and the community to manage offsite environmental impacts at pilot sites.

We will also continue to identify critical industries that may come under future threat of encroachment, update and develop EPA guidance relating to separation distances and encroachment to assist land use planners, and, as part of the planning strategy (see Land use planning below) work with government and other stakeholders to improve how the planning system manages encroachment issues.

What can you do?

  • If you are concerned about the encroachment of residential or other incompatible land uses, EPA recommends that you engage with the relevant developer and council to explain your concerns.
  • You may also object in writing to planning permit applications or rezoning proposals that would allow incompatible uses to be established. The information you can provide about the amenity impacts caused by your business, such as odour and noise, will assist in the best planning decision being made.

Land use planning

EPA’s planning strategy aims to prevent future environmental impacts through good land use planning.

EPA recognises that good planning is one of the most effective ways of preventing environmental impacts. For example, planning can ensure there is an appropriate distance between incompatible uses and that necessary environmental measures are imposed via planning permit conditions, thereby reducing the need for future compliance work.

What is EPA focusing on?

In addition to addressing the issue of encroachment detailed above, in 2014–15 EPA will assess high-risk planning permit applications and contribute to strategic planning decisions, including planning scheme amendments and structure plans. EPA will also participate in and encourage reviews of the planning system to ensure that environmental considerations are given appropriate weight, and collaborate with planning authorities, including the Metropolitan Planning Authority to achieve our strategic objectives.

What can you do?

If you are considering establishing a new facility or expanding an existing facility, you may require a planning permit. Environmental issues may not be immediately obvious. For example, surrounding industrial or rural land may be earmarked for future residential development, requiring a higher level of amenity protection. EPA recommends that you consider and address any environmental impacts (including amenity impacts) associated with your proposal early, before making any significant investments. Your local council will be able to answer any queries.

Page last updated on 1 Sep 2014