Planning Scheme Amendments are undertaken to change the planning scheme. This may be to update Coucil's policies or introduce new policies or to rezone land.
Council's Planning Department processes Planning Scheme Amendments. In some instances, this is done at the request of a land owner or group of land owners (the 'proponent').
The Planning Scheme Amendment process
Planning Scheme Amendments have to follow a process set out under the Planning and Environment Act 1987. This involves various steps and includes various stakeholders, including the Minister for Planning, the general community and authorities such as the CFA and VicRoads.
The amendment process involves the following key steps:
- Preliminary Investigations
Before the formal amendment process commences, preliminary investigations into the proposed change to the planning scheme have to be made. This can involve exploring various options, undertaking preliminary consultation and drafting relevant documents.
- Requesting an amendment
If a proponent wants an amendment, they must make a formal request to Council.
Council (at a Council meeting) must decide to seek authorisation to prepare an amendment from the Minister for Planning. This is usually the first step in which the amendment gets reported formally to Council at a Council meeting.
Further preparation of the amendment is undertaken, including the finalisation of any documentation before the formal exhibition stage.
The proposed amendment is required to go through a formal exhibition process. This involves putting notices about the proposed changes into local papers and sending letters to affected properties and relevant authorities.
Depending on the nature and scale of the proposed changes, information or consultation sessions may be held by Council.
Any person or authority may view the planning scheme amendment documentation and make a submission in writing to Council.
- Review of Submissions & Planning Panel
If submissions have been received which raise concerns with the proposed amendment, Council will usually work with the submitters to try and resolve their concerns. If it is not possible to resolve the concerns, Council (at a Council meeting) must decide whether to appoint a Planning Panel to hear all submissions.
Alternatively, Council may decide to abandon the amendment. At the Council meeting, any submitter may speak.
If Council decides to appoint a Planning Panel to hear all submissions, an independent panel will be appointed by Planning Panels Victoria.
All submitters will have the opportunity to speak at the panel hearing, if they want. All written submissions are automatically considered by the panel.
After hearing and reviewing all submissions, the panel will make a recommendation on the amendment and publish a hearing report.
You can find out more about Planning Panels Victoria here
Council (at a Council meeting), considers the recommendations of the Planning Panel and decides whether to adopt the amendment as exhibited or with changes or to abandon the amendment.
If Council determines to adopt the amendment, it is then submitted to the Minister for Planning for approval. If the Minister determines to approve the amendment, the amendment is formally gazetted and the changes become part of the planning scheme.
More information about the planning scheme amendment process can be obtained from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning's website: http://www.dtpli.vic.gov.au/planning/planning-schemes/changing-the-planning-scheme/steps-in-the-amendment-process
You can also contact the Planning Department to find out more about planning scheme amendments. For contact details click here
Click here to find out about the current planning scheme amendments