New permanent planning controls have been introduced to guide development and support the long-term liveability of Melbourne's central city.

Developed in collaboration with the City of Melbourne, the new provisions provide adequate separation between tall buildings and to the street, ensure that public space and important landmarks are protected from wind and overshadowing, and establish a reasonable floor area ratio for new developments.

Development above the yield will be matched by public benefits such as public open space, laneways, community space, or affordable housing.

The provisions, which apply to the Hoddle Grid and Southbank, bring Melbourne up to speed with planning rules used in cities across the world, such as New York, Singapore, Vancouver, and Sydney.

Summary of the planning controls (PDF, 7.1 MB) Accessible version (DOCX, 24.4 KB)


Over the past 20 years, Melbourne has experienced significant growth in the number and density of new developments in the central city. There had not been a significant central city built form update since 1999. Most of the existing provisions were more than 30 years old and are no longer adequate for the current scale and density of development.

In September 2015, the Minister for Planning announced a review of Melbourne's central city built form and introduced interim controls to manage development outcomes while the review was underway and permanent controls were being developed.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning led the Central City Built Form Review in partnership with the City of Melbourne, and with input from the Office of the Victorian Government Architect.

The documentation generated by the review provided the basis for the new planning controls, which were prepared as a planning scheme amendment and underwent public exhibition and an independent planning panel process.

The new planning controls were introduced in November 2016 to provide improved public amenity and deliver consistency and certainty that will ensure Melbourne's central city grows in a way that protects and enhances its liveability.

Amendment documentation

Visit Planning Schemes Online to view Melbourne Planning Scheme Amendment C270 documentation.

Further information

Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning
Ph: 1800 789 386