In October 2018, the Victorian Government announced it would alter planning laws and create a dedicated planning unit within the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to fast-track non-government school approvals for new schools and upgrades.

Amendments VC165 and VC180

Amendment VC180 replaces the interim provisions introduced by Amendment VC165 on 3 December 2019 which streamlined planning permit applications for non-government primary and secondary schools funded under the Victorian Government Non-Government Schools Capital Fund.

Amendment VC180 applies to all non-government schools regardless of funding source and introduces new fast-tracked assessment pathways that are graduated according to the size, scale and location of non-government school development.

The provisions were developed in consultation with key stakeholders and further refined following broader public consultation.

Amendment VC180 amends the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes by:

  • Amending the Planning Policy Framework at Clause 19.02-2S (Education facilities) by inserting additional strategies to support the expansion and upgrades of new schools, recognising the built form of schools as different to dwellings and strengthening the integration of schools with surrounding transport networks.
  • Expanding the scope of VicSmart for non-government schools by increasing the maximum cost of development from $100,000 to $500,000 at Clause 32.03 (Low Density Residential Zone), Clause 32.04 (Mixed Use Zone), Clause 32.05 (Township Zone), Clause 32.07 (Residential Growth Zone), Clause 32.08 (General Residential Zone) and Clause 32.09 (Neighbourhood Residential Zone)
  • Expanding the scope of Clause 53.19 (Non-government Schools) so that it applies to all applications (except a VicSmart application) for non-government primary and secondary schools, as well as any ancillary education centre uses carried out in conjunction with the primary or secondary school on the same land or contiguous parcels of land.
  • Amending Clause 72.01 (Responsible Authority for this Planning Scheme) to designate the Minister for Planning as the Responsible Authority for:
    • a new non-government primary school or secondary school
    • construction of buildings and works at an existing non-government school with an estimated cost of development of $3 million or greater
    • ancillary education centre (such as a childcare centre or kindergarten) uses undertaken in conjunction with either a non-government primary school or secondary school on the same land or contiguous land in the same ownership
    • existing applications lodged, or permits issued, under the interim particular provision at Clause 53.19 (Non-government Schools).

A dedicated planning unit within the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s Development Approvals and Design team will assess the applications.

More information

If you have questions or need advice about the planning process for non-government school applications where the Minister is the responsible authority, please contact us using the details below.

☎ Phone: 1800 789 386

✉ Email:

Page last updated: 11/10/22