In 2017 the Minister for Planning approved Amendment GC48 which delivered interim planning controls to protect the Yarra River from inappropriate development.

These controls implement strategic planning studies and address gaps in existing planning controls along the Yarra River – providing a consistent, strengthened planning policy and control framework for the Yarra River

Yarra River Planning Controls


The Minister for Planning is seeking to make permanent the planning controls introduced in 2017 to safeguard the Yarra River and prevent over-development in the Yarra River corridor.

The controls were originally introduced in February 2017 on an interim basis through Planning Scheme Amendment GC48.

The interim controls are due to expire on 31 January 2021. To ensure that controls remain in place on an ongoing basis, the Minister for Planning is now consulting with local councils to finalise their permanent application.

The Victorian Government is committed to the establishment of strengthened governance arrangements for the management of the Yarra River. Further announcements will be made in due course.


Media releases

The Minister for Planning has approved Amendment GC48 implementing new planning controls, on an interim basis for areas along the Yarra River between Richmond and Warrandyte – an area under greatest pressure from development.

Recommendation reports

Recommendation reports have been prepared for the ‘lower’ (Richmond to Fairfield) and ‘middle’ (Ivanhoe to Warrandyte) segments of the broader study area.

The Recommendation reports form part a suite of products that have informed the implementation of Amendment GC48. Collectively both reports provide a consistent approach managing development along the Yarra River by:

  • Documenting the values and define a series of river interface character types and important views throughout both river segments;
  • Providing an overarching analysis of gaps and opportunities through review of past studies and existing planning controls; and
  • Presenting local area recommendations regarding potential height, setback, overshadowing and other issues that are then further analysed in detail within council level reports (municipal toolkits).

Municipal toolkits

Municipal toolkits have been prepared for each local council setting out proposed planning provisions to implement the findings and outcomes of the recommendation reports.

Detail in these reports has informed the application of strengthened planning controls implemented through Amendment GC48.

Each municipal toolkit contains the specific recommended changes to each planning scheme and provides strategic analysis outlining the required planning controls for implementation in each local area.

Implementing Amendment GC48 controls across six planning scheme amendments has:

  • Strengthened State Planning Policy regarding the Yarra River (Amendment VC121);
  • Reviewed all existing planning controls to identify gaps and inconsistencies that may exist; and
  • Developed model planning controls which contain local level detail and guidance that is applied consistently throughout the Yarra River corridor.
CouncilMunicipal Toolkit Document
Banyule City CouncilLYR – Banyule Municipal Toolkit (PDF, 7.6 MB)
Boroondara City CouncilLYR – Boroondara Municipal Toolkit (PDF, 17.3 MB)
Manningham City CouncilLYR – Manningham Municipal Toolkit (PDF, 8.2 MB)
Shire of NillumbikLYR – Nillumbik Municipal Toolkit (PDF, 7.4 MB)
City of StonningtonLYR – Stonnington Municipal Toolkit (PDF, 7.3 MB)
City of YarraLYR – Yarra Municipal Toolkit (PDF, 12.3 MB)

Previous reports

Previous policies and plans published by the department.

Policy or planDescription and supporting documents

Review of policies and controls for the Yarra River Corridor: Punt Road to Burke Road (June 2005)

This report outlines the landscape and environmental character of the Yarra River from Punt Road Richmond to Burke Road Ivanhoe. It provides a review of policies and planning controls as related to the Yarra River and recommendations for their improvement.

Review of policies and controls for the Yarra River Corridor: Punt Road to Burke Road (PDF, 10.7 MB)

Middle Yarra Concept Plan, Burke Road to Watsons Creek (1991/ 1993)

These documents outline how the Yarra River between Watsons Creek and Burke Road should be planned to utilise its values and potential, considering both development and use of public and private land.

Middle Yarra Concept Plan: Dights Falls to Burke Road, State Government of Victoria (1990)

This concept plan provides recommendations regarding:

  • river course
  • wetlands
  • bushland
  • open space
  • private residential and industrial development and public facilities
  • the Eastern freeway,
  • Yarra Boulevard and the trail network
  • as well as means to action the plan

Middle Yarra Concept Plan: Dights Falls to Burke Road, State Government of Victoria (1990) (PDF, 4.9 MB)

Statement of Planning Policy – No 4. River Yarra (1971)

This is a broad policy directive for the planning and development of the Yarra River and its immediate environs as an open space system for nature conservation and recreation.

Planning Policy No 4: River Yarra (1971) (PDF, 10.2 MB)