Cumulative Impact Assessments

Licensed Premises; Assessing the Cumulative Impact

Licensed premises, inclusive of late night entertainment venues, provide for significant economic, social and cultural benefits to the Victorian hospitality industry. It is understood that well managed venues can contribute positively to areas in which they are located. Although valuable to the vibrancy of cities, licensed venues can also be responsible for negative and/or detrimental amenity and public safety impacts to the surrounding area. In order to appropriately manage this negative side, it is imperative that the potential cumulative impacts of a proposal are considered.

So what is the 'Cumulative Impact' of a venue? Cumulative Impact refers to both positive and negative impacts that can result from clustering a particular land use or type of land use. Potential cumulative impact from a cluster of licensed premises will vary between locations, depending on the mix and number of venues and whether the area is a destination for activities associated with the supply of alcohol.

Cumulative impact is the product of the number and type of venues present, the way they are managed, and the capacity of the local area to accommodate those venues. The cumulative impact of licensed premises is referenced in the Victoria Planning Provisions at the decision guidelines of Clause 52.27 Licensed Premises. According to 'Practice Note 61; Assessing Cumulative Impact', the relevant decision guideline requires a council to consider "The cumulative impact of any existing licensed premises and the proposed licensed premises on the amenity of the surrounding area.". A 'Cumulative Impact Assessment' is a written report assessing a proposed liquor licence, or liquor licence amendment, and its potential impacts on the surrounding area.

Cumulative Impact Assessment


Professionally Prepared Cumulative Impact Assessments in Accordance with Practice Note 61

On Tap Liquor Consulting has a successful track record in relation to many planning permit applications where a liquor licence is involved, and where the relevant Council requires a Cumulative Impact Assessment.

Cumulative Impact Assessments are not always required by Councils, but are generally required for applications for licensed premises involving trade after 11:00 PM, and where the proposed venue is located within a 'cluster' of licensed premises (defined by practice note 61 as three licensed venues within a radius of 100m or 15 Licensed venues within a radius of 500m). Some Council also require an impact assessment outside of this requirement, and other times it is in the best interest of an applicant to submit a cumulative impact regardless.

On Tap Liquor can provide you with a complete and detailed assessment as per the requirements of practice note 61 upon your request to assist with your planning permit application. This assessment involves a complete review of all licensed premises located within the study area as well as other significant information associated with the proposal.

The final report is a complete and substantial document containing a vast amount of information and includes maps, tables, photographs and other relevant diagrams. Contact us today for an obligation free discussion.


About Cumulative Impact Assessments

What is 'Cumulative Impact'?

Released in June 2015 by DELWP, the purpose of PPN61 is to:

  1. Explain cumulative impact in relation to licensed premises in the planning system.
  2. Provide guidelines that:
    • assist a permit applicant when considering and responding to the potential cumulative impact of their proposal
    • support a council when assessing the cumulative impact of licensed premises as part of a planning permit application.[1]

Clause 52.27 of the Victorian Planning Scheme requires the responsible authority to consider, amongst other things, ‘The cumulative impact of any existing licensed premises and the proposed licensed premises on the amenity of the surrounding area’[2]. PPN61 outlines specific guidelines associated with the preparation of appropriate cumulative impact assessments relevant to the requirements of clause 52.27.

PPN61 describes cumulative impact as:

Cumulative impact refers to both positive and negative impacts that can result from clustering a particular land use or type of land use. Potential cumulative impact from a cluster of licensed premises will vary between locations, depending on the mix and number of venues and whether the area is a destination for activities associated with the supply of alcohol. Cumulative impact is a product of the number and type of venues present, the way they are managed, and the capacity of the local area to accommodate those venues.

Negative cumulative impacts can include increased occurrences of:

  • nuisance including noise and anti-social behaviour from intoxicated persons
  • infrastructure capacity problems including limited availability of transport and car parking for patrons and local residents
  • violence and perceived threats to safety
  • crime including vandalism, trespass and property damage.

Positive cumulative impact can include:

  • the creation of a local ‘identity’ or status as an entertainment or tourism destination
  • enhanced vitality of an area
  • economic benefits
  • increase in consumer choice
  • increased ability to manage impacts, for example by concentrating venues around transport to aid dispersal of patrons.

The clustering of licensed premises may lead to a negative impact even though any given venue in the cluster may be well run and have minimal impact. An area might reach a ‘saturation point’ where an additional licensed premises or a particular type of licensed premises is likely to impact negatively on the surrounding area. Alternatively, there may be a positive cumulative impact where an additional premises will enhance the character or vibrancy of an area.[3]

Neither clause 52.27 of the planning scheme, or PPN61, allow for the consideration of the broader issues associated with the accessibility or consumption of alcohol within the wider community in a general sense. On this basis, a cumulative impact assessment requires a focus on the likely impacts of the proposed licence on the amenity of the surrounding area.

 

[1] Planning Practice Note 61 – Licensed Premises: Assessing Cumulative Impact (DELWP, 2015)

[2] Victorian Planning Scheme Clause 52.27

[3] Planning Practice Note 61 – Licensed Premises: Assessing Cumulative Impact (DELWP, 2015)

When Should Planning Practice Note 61 be Used?

The guidelines provided for in PPN61 may be used for any planning application that would benefit from their use; however, they should be used for all applications for a new or expanded licensed premises that:

  1. will be licensed and open after 11pm; and
  2. is in an area where there is a cluster of licensed premises.

 

Defining a 'Cluster' of Licensed Venues

PPN61 provides a general guide in relation to the definition of a ‘Cluster’ of licensed venues. According to the practice note, a cluster would occur where there are:

  • three or more licensed premises (including the proposed premises) within a radius of 100 metres from the subject land; or
  • 15 or more licensed premises (including the proposed premises) within a radius of 500 metres from the subject land.[1]

 

 

[1] Planning Practice Note 61 – Licensed Premises: Assessing Cumulative Impact (DELWP, 2015)

What is the relevant study area?

As outlined by Planning Practice Note 61, the area to be included in a cumulative impact assessment should be all land within a 500 metre radius of the proposed venue, unless there is another logical boundary that takes into account relevant features or another nearby cluster of licensed premises. These relevant features may include a major impassable barrier, such as a river or freeway. 

 


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