The Minister for Planning has asked The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to reform existing planning controls to support a more streamlined approach to developing residential aged care (RAC) facilities.

Victoria needs more RAC facilities to meet existing and future demand from an ageing population.

Supporting RAC facilities throughout our urban environment will allow older people to live in appropriate housing and remain in their local community.

More information about ageing trends in Victoria:

The RAC facility reforms will ensure key outcomes from Homes for Victorians and Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 are achieved.

A Draft Particular Provision of the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) has been released for consultation and is available to view below.

The proposed control streamlines the assessment of RAC facilities by using tailored ResCode requirements.

The Draft Particular Provision is limited to the design and built form of a RAC facility. Post construction operation of a RAC facility is out of scope.

Currently RAC facilities are assessed as a standard residential building e.g. house, townhouse etc.

RAC facilities have different built form requirements, meaning current assessment standards are too restrictive.

This restriction is leading to an inability to provide enough RAC accommodation across urban areas of Melbourne, particularly within the inner and middle suburbs where land availability is limited.

The new planning control will focus on the following assessment requirements:

  • How a development impacts on its neighbours, e.g. overshadowing, overlooking.
  • How a development interacts with the immediate streetscape – front and side setbacks.
  • Allow for a maximum height of 13.5 metres to support a reasonably sized RAC facility that contains an appropriate number of beds.
  • Ensure that a minimum number of car spaces (0.3 to each room) is provided.
  • Other issues such as site access, building footprint coverage etc.

View the Draft Particular Provision and the information sheet below:

After considering the consultation feedback the Minister for Planning may decide to amend the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes by approving a planning scheme amendment based on this consultation process and without further public notice.


Stakeholders and interested persons were invited to make submissions on the draft provisions by Friday, 16 February 2018. The period for making submissions has now closed.

The consultation feedback is now being considered.

More information

For more information, please  call the Victorian Government Contact Centre or email us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the project being undertaken?

A more streamlined approach to developing RAC facilities is required to assist Victoria in meeting existing and future demand from an aging population and allow older people to age in their local community in appropriate housing. The proposed planning controls will address a number of issues raised in a mid-2016 Advisory Committee (Managing Residential Development Advisory Committee - Residential Zone Review).

The committee found a need for residential zones to support greater flexibility for the design and development of RAC facilities.

What is the policy context?

There are three key policy areas that support the RAC facilities planning reforms:

  1. Homes for Victorians (March 2017), aims to provide certainty in planning and housing supply and coordinate issues of housing affordability, access and choice.
  2. Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 focuses on the need to streamline approvals processes for specific housing types, including aged care, to ensure future community needs are met.
  3. Clause 16 Housing of the State Planning Policy Framework sets out a range of policies aimed at achieving housing affordability and facilitating the development of RAC facilities.

Why is there a need for change in the planning system

Currently RAC facilities are assessed as a standard residential building which limits appropriately assessment, resulting in delays and costs on development. 

This is largely due to RAC facilities not having the same flexibility as other residential development as they require a unique building structure, not currently recognised in the planning system with current controls in the residential zones effectively prohibiting RAC facilities across a large geographic area.

Removing this restriction is required to provide enough RAC accommodation across urban areas, particularly within the inner and middle suburbs of Melbourne.

What is the scope of the reforms?

The proposed planning controls for RAC facilities are limited to technical design elements of the built form of the development. This includes features such as building height, setback and landscaping. Post construction operations are beyond the scope of planning controls and are not addressed in the project.

What are the proposed controls?

The proposed controls will be in the form of a new Particular Provision that has been prepared to provide a focused point of assessment for a RAC facility in a residential area. The Particular Provision will form part of the Victoria Planning Provisions and be included in every planning scheme across the state.

What do the planning controls do?

The planning controls provide provide greater flexibility for the design and development of RAC facilities in urban areas. The controls will ensure that Victoria is able to provide enough RAC accommodation whilst taking into consideration important design features such as:

  • setbacks and visual bulk
  • overshadowing and overlooking
  • height and built form
  • car parking
  • site access
  • landscaping.

How have the planning requirements been determined?

A new working group has been established by the Minister for Planning which includes councils, industry and state government departments.

The working group has provided advice on the current draft planning controls and will continue to provide advice post consultation on the final form and content of the controls.