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What is a Planning Scheme Amendment

From time to time, changes to the Planning Scheme are proposed to reflect new circumstances or to improve the scheme.   Planning scheme amendments often change the way land can be used or developed.  Amendments are submitted to the Victorian Minister for Planning for consideration and approval.  

Anyone can ask a planning authority, in most cases this is a municipal council, to prepare an amendment but they must demonstrate adequate reason as to why an amendment should be prepared.   If you have a proposal for an amendment please discuss it with a strategic planning officer before making a request.  

Presently there is no right of appeal against Council's decision on the merits of rezoning and there is no refund of fees for an unsuccessful rezoning applications. A partial refund may be available if the application is withdrawn before Council makes a decision or if Council resolves not to exhibit a proposal for the rezoning/amendment.  The key steps in considering a rezoning application are:

  • Analysis of any submissions and a report to Council on the rezoning proposal
  • Decision by Council as to whether to proceed with the draft amendment
  • Referral to the State Government's Review Panel
  • Agreement of the Department of Planning for the preparation of an amendment
  • Referral to public authorities
  • Public exhibition of draft amendment
  • Report back to Council regarding results of exhibition, submissions etc, for resolution on whether to proceed with rezoning
  • State Government appointment of a planning panel if required
  • Report to Department of Planning and Community Development requesting approval of amendment by the Minister of Planning
  • Approval
  • Notice in Government Gazette

During the exhibition of an amendment, the public has an opportunity to comment. Apart from placing an advertisement in the newspaper advising the community of the exhibition, Council will write to those residents and property owners who may be affected by the amendment. Council must take into consideration submissions from the public when it makes a decision on a rezoning. 

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