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 several packages of reforms set to be delivered between now and mid-2018.

As part of the planning rules improvements, the Minister approved the first amendment package (VC142) under sections 8 and 20(4) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, that was  gazetted on 16 January 2018.

The matters included in this amendment were identified through previous consultation and reviews, Tribunal decisions and other local government, industry and community input.

The package addresses issues that have long frustrated users of the planning system, and will deliver improvements to the planning system and includes:

  • removal of redundant or excessive provisions and permit requirements for low impact matters
  • clarification of unclear provisions and removal or relocation of some administrative requirements to reduce the complexity of planning schemes
  • updated planning provisions to reflect the contemporary needs of businesses
  • use of contemporary land use terms and removing out-of-date references, to ensure schemes are current.

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More substantial changes to improve the structure and operation of the VPP will be introduced in mid-2018. Given the nature of the proposed changes, the department sought feedback with the release of a discussion paper – Reforming the Victoria Planning Provisions.

Over 250 submissions were received on the discussion paper when on public consultation from 16 October to 1 December 2017. The team is currently reviewing the feedback, with findings and submissions to be shared in 2018. Submissions were received from:


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Next steps

Proposal 5.2 of the discussion paper described the need to review and update the land use terms section of the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP).

On 21 December 2017, the Minister for Planning appointed an Advisory Committee to review and recommend improvements to land use terms and their definitions (located in Clause 74 of the VPP).

Learn more about the Advisory Committee.

More information

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 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 in VicSmart applications from 7 per cent to 14 per cent of all planning applications; which means the planning system is better supporting the economy.

Learn more about VicSmart.