Smart Planning is reforming Victoria’s planning regulation to make the planning system more efficient, accessible and transparent. Reforming the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) is at the heart of our rules and policy work.

Smart Planning rules reform will:

  • address inconsistent and contradictory planning controls
  • make planning regulation easier to understand and interpret
  • lead to more effective and consistent decision making
  • reduce compliance and processing costs
  • reduce assessment times for some planning permit applications.

Rules reform has already delivered a suite of improvements to the planning system, with two more packages of reforms set to be delivered between now and mid-2018.

  • Phase 1 — initiatives aimed at simplifying planning schemes by making improvements within the current VPP framework, to be introduced in early 2018
  • Phase 2 — more substantial changes to improve the structure and operation of the VPP, for introduction from mid-2018 (these were the subject of a discussion paper released for consultation in October 2017).

Download the Rules and Policy fact sheet (PDF, 68.2 KB)

Smart Planning initiatives to date

Since we started in mid-2016, we’ve made two significant changes to rules and policy, which includes updates to the State Planning Policy Framework and extensions to VicSmart.

State Planning Policy Framework

The State Planning Policy Framework (SPPF) covers strategic issues of State importance. Smart Planning simplified the SPPF by introducing an interim restructure to provide for regionally specific policy to be tailored into planning schemes, which led to over 3,000 pages being removed from planning schemes.

This work simplified planning schemes for users of the planning system and reform will continue to be delivered as part of the remaining Smart Planning phases, over the coming weeks and months.

This work will allow local and state policy to be used together more easily, and provide greater certainty for all users of the system.

VicSmart expansion

VicSmart is a 10-day fast-track planning permit assessment process for straightforward, low impact development proposals.

In 2017, the Smart Planning team expanded VicSmart by making more types of planning permits eligible. New VicSmart permit classes were added and some existing ones were broadened.

This change has led to an increase of VicSmart applications from 7 per cent to 14 per cent of all planning applications; which means the planning system is better supporting the economy.

Read more about our new digital planning tools and how they will support the planning system.