Changes to the planning scheme are called amendments and the process is set out in the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (the Act). An amendment may involve a change to a planning scheme map (for example: a rezoning), a change to the written part of the scheme, or both.
Councils can prepare amendments to their planning schemes to achieve a planning outcome or to support a new policy direction. For example, if a council wanted to protect the character of a residential area that demonstrated heritage significance it would amend the scheme to introduce a Heritage Overlay to the area.
Amendments to a scheme can have significant planning implications and affect the wider community because they change the way land can be used or developed. They can also change the basis for making planning decisions in the future.
About planning scheme amendments
Find general information below about amendments including who can amend the planning scheme and how to find out what current amendments are proposed.
Before an amendment can be prepared it must be authorised by the Minister for Planning.
An amendment to the scheme involves consultation with all the parties who may have an interest in the amendment, or may be affected by it. Usually, an amendment is placed on public exhibition for at least one month.
If there are submissions which cannot be resolved by the planning authority, the Minister for Planning will appoint an independent panel to consider submissions. When it receives the report from the panel, the planning authority must adopt the amendment, abandon the amendment or adopt the amendment with changes.
An amendment becomes part of the planning scheme when it is approved by the Minister and notice is given in the Victoria Government Gazette. A combined permit and amendment process is available if both are required.
More information about the amendment process in Chapter 2: Amendments of Using Victoria's Planning System
- View a list of amendments currently on exhibition or recently approved
- View all amendments to Victorian planning schemes
Amendments can be:
- C amendments: changes to one planning scheme
- GC amendments: changes to more than one planning scheme
- VC amendments: changes to the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) and planning schemes
- V amendments: changes to the VPP only
If you need to print the amended pages of a planning scheme or the VPP, replacement page instruction sheets are available for every amendment to a planning scheme ordinance gazetted since 21 August 2006.
They will help you identify which amended planning scheme pages need to be printed if you wish to update a hard copy of your planning scheme or the Victoria Planning Provisions.
The replacement page instruction sheets can be located in Planning Schemes Online
- Select the municipality using the alphabetical display.
- Select the amendment.
- Select the tab named 'Approved Documentation'.
- The replacement page instruction sheet can be found under the header 'Replace a page instruction sheet'.
- Print this sheet.
Go to Planning Schemes Online and print the updated pages using the replacement page instruction sheet as a guide.
The Amendment Process
Templates and guidance are provided below to assist planning authorities to prepare amendment documentation and undertake steps in the amendment process.
An individual can request an amendment to a planning scheme. Discuss your proposal with your council before you request an amendment.
Before making a request, Councils should contact the department's relevan regional office
Councils must create amendment requests (including requests for ministerial amendments), using the department’s online Amendment Tracking System (ATS)
Councils can create a draft amendment in ATS prior to submitting the amendment to the Minister for Planning for authorisation. ATS will allocate a ‘C’ or ‘GC’ number to the draft amendment.
- Abridged explanatory report for amendments prescribed under section 20A of the Planning and Environment Act: Prescribed Explanatory report (DOC, 48.5 KB)
A council or planning authority must obtain the Minister for Planning's authorisation to prepare an amendment. The Minister can authorise a council, any other minister or public authority to prepare an amendment.
Councils must submit all authorisation requests using the department’s online Amendment Tracking System (ATS)
- Explanatory report (DOC, 77.0 KB)
- Use of standard terms for the Explanatory report and application forms (DOC, 18.3 KB)
- Instruction sheet (DOC, 61.0 KB)
This stage occurs once the amendment has been authorised. It covers the preliminary investigation, strategic assessment, consultation with relevant parties - including the department's regional office - and the preparation of the amendment documentation.
The planning authority must lodge exhibition documentation with the department no less than 10 business days before it first gives public notice using the department’s online Amendment Tracking System (ATS). It must also pre-set panel hearing dates at least 25 days prior to notice of exhibition being given using ATS.
The planning authority must arrange publication of the notice of the preparation in the Government Gazette.
The amendment will be made available to view publicly at the time of gazettal. During this time the community can make submissions to the planning authority (usually the council) about the proposal.
The department publishes exhibited amendments at Planning documents on exhibition
- Additional documentation is required for a combined amendment and planning permit under s.96C of the Planning and Environment Act 1987:
Submissions and the panel report are considered and the decision to adopt or abandon the amendment is made.
- the Strategic Assessment Guidelines (PDF, 332.3 KB) need to be considered whenever you report on an amendment.
- before adopting an amendment, check that it aligns with the current planning scheme
The amendment is submitted to the Minister for Planning for approval and the minister's consideration and decision.
Planning authorities must submit documents for approval electronically with the department using the department's online Amendment Tracking System (ATS).
Notice of the approval is published in the Victoria Government Gazette