The residential development provisions are part of every planning scheme in Victoria and need to be considered in the context of other parts of the planning scheme. Planning scheme content may vary from municipality to municipality. 

If you’re developing land for a dwelling consider the following (as set out in the planning scheme):

  • the relevant state, regional and local strategic policies contained in the Planning Policy Framework (PPF) and Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS)
  • the purpose and requirements of the zone and schedule to the zone
  • the purpose and requirements of any overlay and schedule
  • the relevant provisions of Clause 54 or Clause 55  including the neighbourhood and site description and design response
  • the relevant particular, general and operational provisions
  • any comments of referral authorities and others (if applicable).

Clause 54 (one dwelling on a lot), Clause 55 (two or more dwellings on a lot and residential buildings), Clause 56 (residential subdivision) and Clause 58 (apartment developments) of planning schemes include:

  • objectives that must be met
  • standards that should be met
  • decision guidelines.

More information about these clauses are available by scrolling to the appropriate tab.

An objective describes the desired outcome in the completed development.

  • All applications must meet all the objectives of Clause 54, Clause 55 or Clause 58. The objectives aim to achieve residential development that:
    • respects neighbourhood character (Clauses 54 and 55) or urban context(Clause 58)
    • protects amenity
    • is more sustainable.
  • You can’t "trade off" between objectives
  • Council must consider the associated standard and decision guidelines when they decide if the development meets each objective.

A standard contains the requirements to meet the objective. Standards should normally be met. However, if the council is satisfied that an application for an alternative design solution meets the objective, the alternative may be considered.

  • Each objective contains a standard
  • Council can vary some of the standards in Clause 54 and Clause 55 by using a schedule to a residential zone or a schedule to a Neighbourhood Character Overlay.

Decision guidelines set out the matters the council must consider before deciding if an application meets the objectives.

  • Most objectives of Clause 54, Clause 55 and Clause 58 have decision guidelines. The decision guidelines will help council decide whether:
    • the objective will be met if the standard is met
    • the objective will be met if an alternative design solution is used.
  • All of the decision guidelines must be considered:
  • Council can add local decision guidelines using a schedule to a residential zone.
    • council doesn’t need to document its consideration of each individual decision guideline
    • a general statement that council has considered all of the objectives and decision guidelines in the report on the application will usually be sufficient after a merits assessment.

A series of residential development practice notes are available to help you understand the residential development provisions:

  • PPN15: Assessing an application for one or more dwellings in a residential zone
  • PPN16: Making a planning application for one or more dwellings in a residential zone
  • PPN27: Understanding the residential development standards (ResCode)
  • PPNs 38 to 41: Clause 56 subdivision
  • PPN43: Understanding neighbourhood character.

Page last updated: 15/04/20