We are responsible for all land and property matters for health infrastructure projects on behalf of the Victorian Government. This includes:
town planning (including helipad flight path protection)
landlord and heritage matters.
We also provide project-specific property technical advice, including developing acquisition strategies, land search, conducting due diligence activities, and contributing to strategic site assessments and master planning of health campuses.
The Property management and governance guideline outlines the basic legislative, policy and procedural framework for the acquisition, divestment, leasing and licensing of land by or on behalf of the Victorian Government and/or public health services and cemetery trusts.
The purpose of this guideline is to assist public health organisations to understand how to undertake acquisition, sale, leasing, and management of land.
Emergency helicopters play a key role in providing medical and trauma services to patients who are critically ill or who may be involved in serious accidents.
To maintain the integrity of this essential part of the health system, flightpaths into Victoria’s public hospitals have been protected through Design and Development Overlays (Overlays) in local planning schemes.
The Overlays do not introduce a mandatory height limit. Instead, the Overlay triggers a need for a council planning permit for certain buildings and works. All permit applications which trigger the Overlay are referred to the department, which will assess each referral on merit. Where the proposed development does not affect emergency medical services helicopter flights, the development is likely to be supported, or supported with conditions.
All Victorian planning schemes are available on the Planning schemes page of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.
If you unable to access your planning scheme online, please contact your local council statutory planning department.
Guidance on hospital heliport flight path protection
The Victorian Health Building Authority has prepared guidance on the application of the overlays for hospital heliport flight path protection.
The guidance addresses why flightpaths are protected, the impact of cranes and plumes, permit exemptions, how the department assesses applications and example referral responses the department may require on any planning permits.
Obstacle limitation surface
The obstacle limitation surface is the height of the flightpath above ground level, in Australian Height Datum (AHD), that must not be penetrated. By protecting the helipad’s obstacle limitation surface, helicopter operations can be safely maintained in accordance with applicable guidelines and international standards.
The obstacle limitation surface commences at the edge of the helipad and extends horizontally along a flat plane equivalent to the height of the helipad for 240 metres. From this point, the obstacle limitation surface gradually rises along the flightpath at an angle of 4.5 per cent. The further you are from the helipad, the higher the obstacle limitation surface.
The trigger heights in the Overlays and the obstacle limitation surface are not the same. The trigger heights in the Overlay are used by local councils to assess whether a permit is required. The obstacle limitation surface is what the department uses to assess whether a proposal will impact a hospital helipad flightpath.
Knowing the height of the obstacle limitation surface along a flightpath may assist when determining if a proposal may impact on a hospital heliport. Where the obstacle limitation surface is available in a readily accessible format, they are provided below in Appendix C of each technical report.
Details of the obstacle limitation surfaces for the following helipads are not available in a readily accessible format:
Ballarat Base Hospital
Latrobe Regional Hospital
University Hospital Geelong
The department is investigating whether the relevant details of these helipads can be provided.
Construction management plans
The Victorian Health Building Authority may require, through a permit condition, the development of a Flight Path Crane Construction Management Plan where a crane has the potential to affect helicopter operations.
Where a Flight Path Crane Construction Management Plan is required, the Victorian Health Building Authority generally requires approval in writing of the plan prior to the commencement of any development.
The attached template is to be used as the basis for preparing all Flight Path Crane Construction Management Plans required by the department through a permit condition.