Every planning scheme must include each part of the Victoria Planning Provisions and local content in the same order (see diagram).

Diagram showing the various components of a planning scheme.

The MPS is a succinct expression of the overarching strategic policy directions of a municipality. It provides for the planning scheme’s policy foundation, based on the municipality’s location and regional context, history, assets, strengths, key attributes and influences. The MPS supports but does not form part of the PPF. The PPF and MPS work together to form the strategic basis of a planning scheme.

The MPS provides an overview of important local planning issues and sets out the vision and strategic directions for future land use and development for the municipality.

It provides:

  • a link to the council corporate plan and the planning framework
  • the strategic basis for the local content of the planning scheme, such as local policies and the choice of zones and overlays
  • the strategic basis for decision making by the responsible authority.

The MPS is dynamic. It’s reviewed and updated periodically to make sure it responds to the changing needs of the community.

The Planning Policy Framework provides a context for spatial planning and decision making by planning and responsible authorities.

Planning schemes are currently being amended to remove the Local Planning Policy Framework and integrate local policy into a combined Planning Policy Framework that includes State, regional and local policy. Local and regional policy must be consistent with State policy.

Planning authorities and responsible authorities (typically a municipal council) must take these policies into account in their decision making.

A local planning policy outlines how the authority will implement the strategic directions in the MPS and how state policies will be implemented at a local level.

A local planning policy states what the council will do in relation to a specific planning matter, or the council's expectation of what should happen.  A local policy provides guidance for day to day decision making and helps the community understand how a proposal will be considered.

State, regional and local planning policy must be taken into account when preparing amendments to the planning scheme or making decisions under the scheme.

All land in Victoria has a zone.  Zones specify particular purposes for land, such as business, industrial or residential.  They show what the land can be used for, and include controls relating to buildings and works and subdivision.

Standard zones for statewide application are included in the VPP and are used in all schemes as required. The first purpose of each zone is to implement the MPS and PPF.

Each planning scheme only includes the zones required to implement its local strategic directions. Councils can’t vary zones or introduce their own local zones. New zones can only be introduced by the Minister for Planning with an amendment to the VPP. Some zones have schedules that allow for local content to be included.

A site or area can have overlay requirements in addition to the zone requirements. Generally, overlays apply to a single issue or a related set of issues (such as heritage, environmental concern or flooding). Where more than one issue applies to land, multiple overlays can be used.

Standard overlays for statewide application are included in the VPP.  Each planning scheme only includes the overlays required to implement the municipality's local strategic directions..

Many overlays have schedules to specify local objectives and requirements.

Particular provisions are specific prerequisites or planning provisions for a range of particular uses and developments, such as advertising signs and car parking. Particular provisions apply consistently across the state. Only particular provisions already in the VPP can be included in planning schemes and they apply in addition to the requirements of a zone or overlay unless specified otherwise.

General provisions are operational requirements that are consistent across the state. They include matters such as:

  • general exemptions
  • existing use rights
  • general provisions for use and development of land, decision guidelines
  • referral and notices provisions
  • applications under section 96 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

Operational provisions:

  • explain the operation of the parts of a planning scheme
  • define land use terms
  • specify responsibility for administration and enforcement of the scheme
  • list statewide and local incorporated documents and background documents
  • explain the strategic implementation of the MPS.

This list includes all amendments to the scheme, including amendments to:

  • local provisions - the MPS, local planning policy and any schedules
  • the Victoria Planning Provisions which included a consequential amendment to the scheme.

A brief description of each amendment is provided.

Page last updated: 03/07/20