Current strategic planning projects

Council develops strategic projects in collaboration with industry experts and active involvement from the local community. By combining this expertise and engagement, we can implement initiatives that effectively address community needs while fostering sustainable growth and development for our region.

The projects that are currently underway at council can be found below.

 Bacchus Marsh Town Centre Structure Plan

The Bacchus Marsh Town Centre Structure Plan aims to establish a 15 year strategic vision for Bacchus Marsh town centre. The structure plan will strengthen the role of the town centre as the primary civic, employment and retail area in the Shire. The map below shows the boundary of the structure plan area. 

Community workshops and surveys were undertaken in mid-February 2023 to develop the following Vision Statement which is guiding the development of the draft Structure Plan:  

In 15 years, Bacchus Marsh will be:

  • A sustainable town centre that showcases its rural charm and history, and protects and celebrates its heritage and natural assets.  
  • A vibrant town centre with a clear sense of arrival, central meeting place and economically activated main street, well supported by bustling side streets, which all showcase the rural charm of Moorabool Shire.  

  • A welcoming town centre, with a strong regionally focused economy that attracts commercial uses and activities to supply the needs of the local and wider regional community.  

  • An accessible town centre, which provides community buildings, parks, commercial and residential areas, convenient public transport and parking options, all linked by tree-lined streets and safe walking and cycling infrastructure.  

  • An inviting town centre which encourages appropriately located residential development to achieve sustainable and diverse housing outcomes. 

Engagement will be undertaken on the draft Structure Plan in coming months.  


Maddingley Planning Study

Status: Draft Maddingley Planning Study completed -– The draft planning study was informed by a Background Report (March 2019) 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.  

Further community/stakeholder consultation was undertaken on the draft Maddingley Planning Study from 3 May to 1 July 2022.  Subsequent consultation was undertaken with government agencies, with a view to refining the planning study’s strategic directions and recommendations.  Council is currently determining the next steps for the Maddingley Planning Study project. 

Once finalised and adopted by Council, the Maddingley Planning Study will provides the strategic foundation for changes to the Moorabool Planning Scheme that will guide future land use and development within the study area.  

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

Moorabool Retail Strategy

The current Moorabool Retail Strategy was completed in 2016 and predates the work undertaken on the Bacchus Marsh Urban Growth Framework (BMUGF) (C81) and the Ballan Strategic Directions (C88) which identified areas for future growth.

Council is preparing a new Retail Strategy to reflect the expected population growth anticipated within the growth precincts and provide guidance on the form and hierarchy of existing and planned activity centres within the Moorabool Shire.

Consultation is currently underway on the draft Retail Strategy at with submissions closing Sunday 3 March 2024.

Key objectives of the draft strategy are to:

  • Maintain and extend the hierarchy of retail activity centres
  • Support the Bacchus Marsh town centre as the major retail centre within the Shire
  • Support the Ballan town centre to maintain its character as it grows
  • Ensure that new residential areas are well-serviced by the retail hierarchy
  • Encourage appropriate retail expansion in the small towns and villages of the Shire
  • Support the provision of a wider range of goods and services in the Shire
  • Encourage improvement in the provision of retail services to visitors

The Moorabool Retail Strategy is being prepared alongside the Bacchus Marsh Town Centre Structure Plan.

Rural Land Use Strategy

Moorabool Shire Council is preparing a Rural Land Use Strategy (RLUS) to provide a strategic framework to guide decision making on the use and development of rural land within the Shire.  

As a fast-growing peri-urban municipality located close to metropolitan Melbourne, demand for and threats to rural, including farming, land in Moorabool is high due to growing interest for rural living and urban land uses.  

Lack of clear policy direction on rural land including in the local policy framework, has limited Council’s ability to effectively manage competing interests, particularly at the interface of Rural Living and Farming zone areas, to address challenges of land use conflicts, land fragmentation and biodiversity and landscape impacts.   

The Rural Land Use Strategy will: 

  • Provide a comprehensive policy responses to address the competing issues and interests in rural areas.
  • Find an appropriate balance between the need to protect agricultural land from inappropriate land uses, while addressing demand for those seeking a rural lifestyle. 
  • Protect landscape values while respecting environmental hazards and considering the impacts of climate change 

Community consultation will form a crucial component of the strategy and updates as well as opportunities for input will be posted on this page.