Under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 Council is required to review its Planning Scheme within 12 months of adopting its new Council Plan. The Act sets this process to ensure the planning scheme remains effective and efficient in implementing both State and Local Policy objectives.

This requirement from the Act is important as it underpins that the planning scheme is a partnership document that combines the strategic social measures of the State with the local ambitions of the Council and its community.

The State sets the framework for the scheme to provide consistency and ease of use. It also defines those key elements that are deemed important to all Victorians. Within this framework the local community can establish those elements of key interest to them and also identify any gaps or unique advantages or outcomes it wishes to achieve.

A copy of the Planning Scheme Review can be accessed via the document library to the right. We are open to suggestions to ensure we have captured all elements of this activity, submissions will be open until 5:00pm, Monday 6 June.

Why are we doing this?

In the last 3 years the community has identified that the planning scheme has a number of inconsistencies in the integration of policies, zones and overlays.

These are reflected in:

  • Zonings that don’t gel with neighbouring land of similar attributes in key settlements
  • Zonings that imply development potential with overlays that significantly challenge the ability to utilise that potential
  • Limited scope for new or existing businesses to grow in Industrial areas as all available land is absorbed and insufficient new land has been identified in the planning scheme
  • Housing supply for new residents seeking to locate is not available limiting existing employers ability to expand their businesses and the growth of new investment
  • Overlays underpinned by aged or incomplete data result in over-regulating or under-regulating risks that the overlays are intended to manage.

Reviewing the allocation and zones on each parcel across the municipality with updated data on key risks such as fire, flood and environmental significance is paramount. This will resolve scenarios where vegetation controls are provided on land that no longer has significant vegetation. Fire risk, which has matured in understanding since 2011 when the current Bushfire Management Overlay was introduced, can be better recognised. Flood information that has been prepared but not included in the scheme can be integrated.

The resulting outcome will be a clearer expression of land capability and certainty about what can be developed where, across the municipality and a better alignment between the Council and community vision for the area and land planning decisions.

Getting this right will set us up to thrive as a community for the next 20 years or more. We are seeking feedback to ensure that our analysis has captured both the statistical elements of these activities but also the desires and expectations of the people who live here now and those yet to.