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.

Phase 1

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  • use of contemporary land use terms and removing out-of-date references, to ensure schemes are current.

More information

If you have any questions or need further information email smart.planning@delwp.vic.gov.au.

  • A summary of the amendment changes is available to help Victorians understand the areas of the Victoria Planning Provisions that will be affected
  • View the detailed provision changes here
  • Read the Advisory Note, which explains the amendment in more detail
  • For practitioners, watch this video on VC142 and the changes you need to understand
  • For the community, you can watch this video on VC142 and what it means for Victoria

Phase 2

Phase 2 rules reforms focus on a restructure of the Victoria Planning Provisions. This amendment is scheduled to be gazetted in mid-2018.

The department sought feedback on Phase 2 Rules reforms with the release of Reforming the Victoria Planning Provisions - A Discussion Paper in October 2017. We received over 250 submissions, which informed the two packages for Ministerial consideration. See the discussion paper and consultation summary in the table below.

Group Number of submissions
Council 49
Community interest groups 47
Organisations and peak bodies 54
Individuals 85
Government agencies 24

Watch the live stream presentation outlining the findings of the pilot below, or read the Q&As from the live stream presentation.

A key area of interest arising from Reforming the Victoria Planning Provisions: A Discussion Paper (October 2017) was the proposed Planning Policy Framework (PPF) and the translation and operation of local content. To test the proposed PPF, the Smart Planning program undertook a pilot with two councils - Manningham City Council and City of Ballarat.

There were two key aspects to the pilot:

  • To ensure the PPF model was a usable and viable approach to setting out all tiers of planning policy.
  • To inform future implementation by developing a workable translation process, understanding what support and guidance will be needed and to understand what time and resources will be required.

Please note that the PPF model is a current reform proposal and has not been approved by the Minister for Planning. The department is currently preparing an amendment package, which includes the PPF, for consideration by the Minister.

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).

More information about the Advisory Committee

More information

If you have any questions or need further information email smart.planning@delwp.vic.gov.au.

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 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.

More information about VicSmart