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.

Find out what you need to prepare and how to apply for an amendment.

Planning scheme amendments

All past and present planning scheme amendments can be viewed on the Department of Environment, Land, Water 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  



Initiating a private PSA

Anyone can request a planning authority to initiate an amendment. You must be able to demonstrate to the planning authority (usually Council) 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.

If you want to request an amendment you can arrange an initial meeting with the Council Strategic Planning Team. Prior to this meeting, you should consider whether you are able to demonstrate to Council adequate justification for the amendment. You should also consider relevant ministerial directions or practice notes. During the meeting, we may request further information to assess the application. This meeting will save time later on by ensuring the potential application is complete and suitable for consideration.

Amendment Proposal Flow Chart

For more information about the Planning Scheme Amendment process visit the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.


Fees and other expenses – private PSA

You might want to consider 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. Council recommends you engage a private professional with the relevant expertise to prepare the necessary documents in such instances.

All costs associated with the preparation of an amendment are at the propoenent'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
  • Advertising costs incurred at the public exhibition stage including but not limited to advertising in the newspapers and mail outs
  • 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.

Notes on fees

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

Note 1

Fees payable to Council (including Stage 1, 2 and 3 statutory fees) should be addressed to:

Strategic Planning

Moorabool Shire Council

PO Box 18, Ballan, Vic 3342

Note 2

Fees payable to the Minister for Planning (Stage 4) should be made payable to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.