The planning scheme is subordinate legislation, which affects property rights. Care must be taken when drafting amendment documentation, ensuring wording is clear and accurate. Imprecise drafting of an amendment could result in the planning authority’s intentions not being achieved, cause delay and/or expense due to poor implementation or interpretation.
Peer review of amendment documentation
Before finalising the amendment documentation, it is recommended that a peer reviewer proof read the amendment to check for:
- clarity and readability
- correct electronic format and naming conventions
- typographical errors
- compliance with the Minister’s authorisation for the preparation of the amendment
- consistency between the Instruction Sheet and attached maps or ordinances.
The Planning and Environment Act 1987 (The Act) requires an Explanatory Report be prepared for every amendment. The report must explain the purpose, effect and strategic basis for the amendment and address the matters set out in Minister’s Direction No. 11 – Strategic Assessment of Amendments (DOC, 52.5 KB). Refer to Practice note 46: Strategic Assessment Guidelines for planning scheme amendments. (DOCX, 38.6 KB)
- Prescribed Explanatory report (DOC, 49.5 KB) for amendments prepared under section 20A of the Planning and Environment Act.
- Use of standard terms for the Explanatory report and application forms (DOC, 18.3 KB) (DOC, 18.3 KB)
- The Strategic Assessment Guidelines (DOCX, 38.6 KB) must be considered whenever you prepare an explanatory report or report on an amendment. Strategic Assessment Guidelines Checklist (DOCX, 36.9 KB)
The amendment Instruction Sheet is the front page of an amendment and sets out the instructions for amending the planning scheme. The Instruction Sheet and the attached maps and documents to which it refers, constitute the amendment and therefore must clearly state the instructions for executing the amendment. It is essential that these are drafted carefully and accurately.
The Instruction Sheet must list, in the following order :
- Planning scheme maps that are to be amended, inserted or deleted. These should be sorted by zoning maps followed by overlay maps.
- Planning scheme clauses and schedules that are to be amended, inserted or deleted. These should be listed in ascending numerical order.
The amended planning scheme map sheets form attachments to the Instruction Sheet. The map sheet shows the part of the overall planning scheme map being changed. If areas of a zone or an overlay are removed a deletion map needs to be prepared.
The department provides a free map preparation service to planning authorities preparing planning scheme amendments. Complete the online form and allow five business days for preparation.
The amended planning scheme clauses and schedules are documents that form attachments to the Instruction Sheet. The format of the attached documents must comply with the Ministerial Direction: The Form and Content of Planning Schemes (PDF, 1.9 MB), which outlines the format for all clauses and schedules including the font, paragraph, bullets, numbering and layout. Local Provision templates, as outlined in the Ministerial Direction, are provided in MS Word to assist with drafting ordinances only.
Practice Notes, in particular Numbers 4 - Writing a Municipal Strategic Statement (DOC, 772.5 KB), 8 - Writing a Local Planning Policy (DOC, 92.0 KB), 10 - Writing Schedules (DOC, 678.5 KB) and 59 - The Role of Mandatory Provisions in Planning Schemes (DOC, 91.0 KB), also provide guidance on writing local provisions.
New or amended incorporated documents must be supplied to the department electronically,via the Amendment Tracking System as they form part of the amendment. Incorporated document names must include a date (month and year).
Practice Note 13 Incorporated and Background Documents (DOCX, 45.2 KB)explains the role of the external documents in schemes; the difference between Incorporated Documents and Background Documents; and provides guidance when a document should be an incorporated or background document.
New or revised incorporated documents must be supplied to the department electronically via the Amendment Tracking System as they form part of the amendment.
Practice Note 13 Incorporated and Background Documents (DOCX, 45.2 KB) explains the role of the external documents in schemes; the difference between Incorporated Documents and Background Documents; and provides guidance as to when and how each should be applied.
Supporting documentation forms part of the amendment and must be submitted to the department electronically via the Amendment Tracking System.
Combined amendment and planning permit under s.96C of the Planning and Environment Act 1987:
- Glossary (PDF, 120.1 KB)
- Strategic Assessment Guidelines (DOCX, 38.6 KB)
- Strategic Assessment Guidelines Checklist (DOCX, 36.9 KB)
- Ministerial directions
- Current fees for planning scheme amendments
- Prescribed Ministers (DOC, 43.5 KB)
- Using Victoria's Planning System- Chapter 2: Amendments
- Planning practices
- Advisory notes
- Planning and Environment Act 1987, the Planning and Environment Regulations 2015
Page last updated: 06/10/21