Currently under Melbourne’s Planning Scheme “Licensed premises and Gaming Venues” are included in the blanket definition of Retail Premises under the Victorian Planning Scheme.
The definition of a Retail Premise includes Food and Drink premises (Hotels Taverns, licensed resturants) and Gaming venues (Poker machines).
In 2006 the Labor State government subjected Gaming venues to the planning process and required them to obtain a planning permit by including Gaming venues in the definition of Retail Premises.
The current a Business 1 zone require Retail Premises to obtain planning permit.
On July 1, Business 1, 2 and 5 zones will be rolled up into a new Commercial 1 zone and Retail Premises, apart from a sex shop, become an “As of right of use” will no longer require a permit. Gaming and other licensed venues will no not be subjected to proper planning control.
Local Council’s and the community will be denied the right to object to the use and establishment of a gaming venue and other licensed premises that come under the umbrella of the definition of Retail Premises within the new Commercial zone.
Community groups are calling for an immediate change to address this issue
Residents of Melbourne South Yarra are effected mostly by this isssue and are fighting the establishment of a licensed restaurant/tavern in Domain Rd falls is within a Business 1 zone. On July 1 this zone will become a Commercial 1 zone and with it they will no longer have the right to object to establihsment of a tavern or gaming venue in the new zone.
The City of Melbourne Gaming overlay will not apply as Retail premises (Including Taverns and Gaming venues) will no longer be required to obtain a planning permit as a result of the new blanket exemptions.
A more responsible and preferable solution to planning would be to remove Gaming venues and other licensed premises from the blanket definition of Retail premises and establish a new category “Licensed premise” (including Gaming venues) and subject all licensed premises to a proper and full planning process