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Anyone can make a written request to a planning authority to prepare an amendment. In most cases, the planning authority will be the local council. If the planning authority agrees to the proposal, it must request authorisation to prepare the amendment from the Minister for Planning.

Planning authorities and proponents should apply the following best practice steps to support transparent decision making, strategically sound amendments and timely processing. Following these steps will enhance engagement between proponents and planning authorities.

1. Discuss the proposed amendment with the planning authority and respond to issues

Early engagement between a proponent and a planning authority should occur. Planning authorities are encouraged to provide officer level written advice on any issues or areas of concern to proponents. If the proposal is unlikely to be supported, reasons should be provided.

Where councils are the planning authority, they are encouraged to ensure proponents understand the difference between officer support and council endorsement for authorisation, and the process and timeframes for requesting authorisation.

Proponents should respond to any issues raised by the planning authority.

2. Consider consistency with state and regional policy, strategic merit and proper use of VPP of the proposed amendment

Planning authorities should undertake a preliminary review of the proposed amendment to determine whether it is consistent with state and regional planning policy and interests, demonstrates strategic merit and makes proper use of the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP). This review should include discussions with the department and relevant referral authorities. The outcomes should be provided to the proponent and department, including key issues and the planning authority’s preliminary position (officer level).

3. Proponent makes a formal request to the planning authority and pays the required fee

If the planning authority has indicated it may consider the amendment, the proponent should provide the information requested to support their proposal, including the documents listed under ‘What should be included with a request for authorisation to the Minister’. The Planning and Environment (Fee) Regulations 2016 require a fee is paid to the planning authority to consider a request to amend a planning scheme.

4. Planning authority to discuss proposed amendment with the department

If the planning authority has settled its preliminary position or feedback on the amendment, another discussion with the department is highly recommended prior to making a formal decision on the request.

5. Decision on whether to proceed to request authorisation to prepare the amendment

This is the formal step in the process where the planning authority considers the authorisation request from a proponent. A planning authority should:

  • Consider requests in a timely manner.
  • Provide a response in writing, including reasons for the decision.

If the planning authority agrees to proceed, it then lodges the request for authorisation to prepare the amendment to the Minister.

What if a planning authority does not agree to request authorisation for the amendment?

There is no right of review of a decision not to support the progression of an amendment request.

If the planning authority declines an amendment request, the proponent is encouraged to address the concerns of the planning authority to enable the request to be further explored. However, in some instances the proposal may not warrant progression.

Page last updated: 14/05/24