Planning scheme amendments

A planning scheme amendment is a change to the Planning Scheme. Common amendments include rezoning land, applying an overlay to specify development considerations or changes to planning policies.

All past and present planning scheme amendments can be viewed on the Department of Transport and Planning website

Planning scheme and amendments explained

A planning scheme is a legal document prepared by Council or the Minister for Planning, and approved by Minister. It contains policies and provisions that control how people can use and develop private and public land.

A planning scheme amendment (PSA) is a change to the planning scheme. 

The Planning and Environment Act 1987 allows Council to initiate an amendment at the request of a person or body (private PSA). However, amendments are most commonly initiated by the Strategic Planning Team to further Council’s land use planning objectives (Council PSA).

Amendments can also be initiated by the Minister for Planning, another Minister, or state agency.

As a PSA means changing the rules applying to the land, the process may take several years of strategic work and considerable cost to support the proposal. 

The chart below shows the process of a Council Planning Scheme Amendment.

PSA process 1.jpg


Private initiated Planning Scheme Amendment

To initiate a private PSA you must be able to demonstrate adequate strategic justification for the amendment. Council must determine that the amendment has planning merit and is consistent with the future strategic directions for the municipality.

For more information about the Planning Scheme Amendment process visit the Department of Transport and Planning.

You will require the services of a private planning professional to help you through the process and prepare documents. Some PSA requests may need expert reports – for example flora and fauna, traffic, and aboriginal cultural heritage. Any intent to seek a private planning scheme amendment should be discussed with Council at the earliest opportunity. 

All costs associated with the preparation of an amendment are at the proponent’s expense. These include: 

  • All statutory fees (Planning and Environment Fees Regulations) 

  • All costs associated with the administration of the planning scheme amendment. This includes advertising in the newspapers, Government Gazette and public notification of an amendment 

  • If an independent planning panel is required to hear submissions as a result of unresolved objections (submissions) to the amendment, the planning authority will pass on the costs and expenses of a panel carrying out its functions (section 156 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987). The cost of the panel will depend on the complexity of the amendment 

  • Any additional private expenses, such as the preparation of the amendment and the engagement of professional representation for panel hearings 

You will need to complete an application form before the amendment process starts. Before each stage, you will need to pay the relevant fees. 

GST does not apply to statutory fees but applies to all other fees.