Planning for our Shire's growth


The Shire needs strategic planning projects to guide its development as its population increases. 

Strategic planning for significant growth

Plan Melbourne and the Central Highlands Regional Growth Plan identify the Shire as a growth area. Our population is set to increase by more than 80% in the next 20 years to 63,838.

About population forecasts

Councils population forecasts are provided by a population and demographics company called .id.

.id create the population forecasts based on information from Council on strategic growth areas and developments, with .id expertise on regional, national and global drivers of change. The forecasts are monitored for performance annually, and adjusted if needed.  

The forecasts can be access here.

Current strategic planning projects

Maddingley Planning Study project

Status: Planning Study completed - Community/stakeholder consultation underway from 3 May to 1 July 2022.

The Maddingley Planning Study(PDF, 22MB) provides the strategic foundation for changes to the Moorabool Planning Scheme that will guide future land use and development within the study area and within separation distances to industrial uses. A summary brochure can be viewed or downloaded here(PDF, 7MB) .

The Maddingley Planning Study has been informed by a Background Report (March 2019(PDF, 10MB))and the outcomes of extensive community/stakeholder consultation.

This Interactive Map enables you to search a property or click on an area of interest, to identify the relevant recommended planning principles and planning provisions. 

This presentation will provide further information on the study document 

You are invited to make a submission regarding the Maddingley Planning Study.  In particular, Council seeks your feedback on the recommended planning principles and recommended planning provisions.  Submissions will help to inform the preparation of a Maddingley Strategic Directions document, which will include final recommendations for the study area.  Submissions must be made in writing by 1 July 2022 or  via Council's ‘Have your say’ page

for further information visit Council's ‘Have your say’ page.

Moorabool Carparking Study

Status: Study expected to be complete mid-2021

  • Identify current car parking requirements in Bacchus Marsh and Ballan
  • Explores whether the current provision is acceptable
  • Considers on-street, off-street, and unofficial parking
  • Forecasts future car parking requirements
  • Provides recommendations on parking management strategies
Background Report
  • Occupancy surveys in Bacchus Marsh and Ballan undertaken in December 2019
  • Shopper Intercept Surveys completed in December 2019

Bacchus Marsh Irrigation District Planning Study project

Status: Study commenced in early 2020. It includes engagement with relevant landowners and stakeholders

The Study was identified as part of the Bacchus Marsh Urban Growth Framework (UGF). The UGF will develop 3 new residential precincts that border the Bacchus Marsh Irrigation District (BMID).

Key objectives: 

  • Review the current and ongoing viability of land within the BMID
  • Provide direction on the future of the BMID
  • Provide planning policy and controls for the protection of, and investment in, the BMID

Victorian Planning Authority Projects

The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) is a State Government statutory authority that reports to the Minister for Planning. The VPA works with councils and local communities, other government agencies, landowners and developers to plan for strategically important precincts in inner and middle ring Melbourne, the growth areas and regional cities. The VPA are the planning authority for the Merrimu, Parwan Station and Parwan Agribusiness Precincts.


The VPA is working with Moorabool Shire Council to prepare a Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) and Infrastructure Contributions Plan (ICP) for 7,200 lots and 1,800 jobs at Merrimu (Bacchus Marsh).

Visit the VPA for more information

Parwan Station

The VPA is working with Moorabool Shire Council to prepare a Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) and Infrastructure Contributions Plan (ICP) to facilitate planning for a future mixed-use precinct with up to 13,000 new residents and over 4,000 new jobs and a potential new train station.

Visit the VPA for more information

Parwan Agribusiness

The VPA is working with Moorabool Shire Council to prepare a Development Plan and a Development Plan Overlay to facilitate planning for 1,500 jobs at the Parwan Agribusiness Precinct (Bacchus Marsh).

Visit the VPA for more information

Completed strategic planning projects

Ballan Strategic Directions

Ballan Strategic Directions provides clear strategic direction for the future of Ballan and was a base for the Amendment C88.

View the respective documents:

Ballan Strategic Directions Part 1(PDF, 15MB)

Ballan Strategic Directions Part 2(PDF, 11MB)

Urban Growth Framework (UGF)

We prepared the Bacchus Marsh UGF with the Victorian Planning Authority (VPA). It was adopted by Council on 19 September 2018.

What is the Urban Growth Framework?

Strategic document that guides the growth of Bacchus Marsh to 2041 and beyond

Defines the settlement boundary

Nominates new growth precincts: Merrimu, Parwan Station, Parwan Employment, and Hopetoun Park North. 

For further information please refer to the Amendment C81 webpage.

Small Towns and Settlements Strategy

The Small Towns and Settlements Strategy (STS) provides the future vision on the management of our small towns and settlements.

Download sections of the Small Towns and Settlements Strategy:

Bacchus Marsh Housing Strategy

Council has prepared a housing strategy called Housing Bacchus Marsh to 2041. It addresses how to manage growth pressures and preserve neighbourhood character.

Key reasons for this strategic direction:

  • Regional service centre role
  • Accessibility to Melbourne, Geelong and Ballarat
  • Well-established town centre
  • Availability of greenfield and infill development opportunities

Download the Strategy documents:

Retail Strategy 2041

This Strategy outlines a vision for the retail landscape in Moorabool to 2041.

Download the Retail Strategy 2041.(PDF, 7MB)

Moorabool Shire Economic Development Strategy

The Economic Development Strategy identifies the vision and objectives for the future of the Shire's economy. It details the strategies and actions to support local growth while enhancing liveability.

Download the Economic Development Strategy(PDF, 787KB)

Moorabool Industrial Areas Strategy

The Strategy sets out the direction for industrial land use. Population growth means careful planning to ensure the local economy provides opportunities for an expanding workforce.

View the Industrial Areas Strategy(PDF, 5MB)

Gordon Structure Plan

Gordon Structure Plan guides and manages the future development of the township and its surrounds. It addresses land use, zoning, urban design, visual amenity, facilities, and infrastructure.

View our Gordon Structure Plan(PDF, 4MB)