Planning scheme amendments

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Planning scheme amendments

All past and present planning scheme amendments can be viewed at


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What is a planning scheme amendment?

The Moorabool Planning Scheme uses the Victoria Planning Provisions to establish the land use and development controls applying within Moorabool Shire.  

A Planning Scheme Amendment is a change to the Planning Scheme. Common amendments include the rezoning of land, the application of an overlay to specify development considerations, or changes to the planning policies that guide the use and development of land. In most cases, the initiating planning authority is Moorabool Shire Council or the Minister of Planning, but it may also be another Minister or agency.

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

As a change to the planning scheme is changing the rules applying to the land, the process, if authorised by the Minister for Planning, may take several years and require significant strategic work to support the proposal, at considerable cost. 

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


Planning Scheme Amendment Flow Chart.jpg


Initiating a Private Planning Scheme Amendment

Anyone can request a planning authority to initiate an amendment, referred to as a ‘private planning scheme amendment’. If you do, you must be able to demonstrate to the planning authority (usually the Council) adequate justification as to why an amendment should be prepared. Council, as a planning authority, 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 are encouraged to arrange an initial meeting with the Council Strategic Planning Team. Prior to this meeting you should have read the relevant State and local planning policies to identify how your request is strategically supported and have considered any relevant Ministerial Directions or practice notes. During the meeting other information that may be required by Council to assess the application will be discussed. This meeting will help to ensure that a potential application is complete and suitable for consideration, saving time later.


Amendment Proposal Flow Chart.jpg


If you are considering requesting a planning scheme amendment it is important to firstly consider whether any alternative options to achieve the desired aims exist, such as applying for a planning permit.

Any application to amend the planning scheme:

  • Must have regard to the Minister's directions and the Victoria Planning Provisions;
  • Must have regard to any municipal planning strategy, strategic plan, policy statement, code or guideline which forms part of the scheme;
  • Must consider any significant effects which it considers the scheme or amendment might have on the environment or which it considers the environment might have on any use or development envisaged in the scheme or amendment; and
  • Must consider its social and economic effects.
  • Must consider the Strategic Assessment Guidelines

Fees and Other Expenses – Private Planning Scheme Amendment

Many proponents engage the services of private planning professionals to assist them in the preparation of their private planning scheme amendment request and to guide them through the process. Depending on the site and the nature of the proposal the request may need to be accompanied by expert reports – for example flora and fauna, traffic and aboriginal cultural heritage. The proponent must prepare all required background data to the satisfaction of Council. Engagement of a private planning professional is recommended to complete this process.

All costs associated with the preparation of an amendment are to be borne by the proponent, including:

  • All statutory fees (Planning and Environment Fees Regulations)
  • All costs associated with the administration of the planning scheme amendment including: advertising in the newspapers, Government Gazette and public notification of an amendment will be passed on to the proponent.
  • 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 onto the applicant the costs and expenses incurred for or by a panel in carrying out its functions in line with section 156 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987. The cost of the Panel will depend on the number of days it sits, and the number of Panel Members appointed.
  • Any additional private expenses, for example the preparation of the amendment and the engagement of professional representation for Panel hearings.

Prior to commencement of the amendment process an application form will need to be completed acknowledging the above, and before progression of each stage relevant fees will need to be paid.

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.

Amending a Planning Scheme

Browse all Planning Scheme Amendments

Further Information about Ministerial Directions

Further Information about Strategic Assessment Guidelines

Further Information about Planning Advisory Notes

Further Information about Planning and Environment Fees

Further Information about Planning Practice Notes

Further Information about Planning Panels

Government Gazette

Moorabool Planning Scheme

Planning Services provided by DELWP

Using Victoria's Planning System - Planning Scheme Amendments


Proposed and recently approved Planning Scheme Amendments

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Planning Scheme Amendment C91 – Improving Flood Management in Moorabool Shire

Moorabool Shire has prepared Amendment C91 to the Moorabool Planning Scheme, at the request of Melbourne Water as the relevant floodplain management authority. Amendment C91 seeks to apply the Land Subject to Inundation Overlay (LSIO) and the Special Building Overlay (SBO) to land affected by a 1 in 100 year flood event, within the catchments of the Werribee, Lerderderg and Little Rivers, in the eastern half of Moorabool Shire. The Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy (2016) highlights the importance of using planning controls to help avoid and minimise flood risks. State and local planning policies require flood prone land to be identified and managed.

The LSIO and SBO are planning scheme provisions that identify land subject to flooding and trigger the need for a planning permit for proposed subdivisions, buildings and works. Some permit exemptions are available for minor buildings and works.

The LSIO applies to land affected by flooding associated with waterways and open drainage systems in both urban and rural areas. The SBO applies to land affected by flooding associated with overland flows from the urban stormwater drainage system.

The application of these overlays will ensure that areas at risk of flooding are shown on planning scheme maps.  These overlays will ensure that flood risk is considered at the beginning of the development process. The purpose is to ensure that new development maintains the free passage and temporary storage of floodwaters, minimises flood damage, is compatible with the flood hazard and will not cause any significant rise in flood level or flow velocity.

All planning permit applications under the LSIO or SBO will be referred to Melbourne Water as a determining referral authority. Melbourne Water will assess development proposals and provide a referral response (including appropriate permit conditions) to Council.

The LSIO and SBO are based on detailed flood modelling and flood extent mapping undertaken by Melbourne Water. Amendment C91 implements the findings of the three flood studies (Report for Bacchus Marsh Area Floodplain Mapping, Ballan Township Flood Study Final Report, Lower Lerderderg Catchments Flood Mapping Report), the Melbourne Water Planning Investigations Models which prepared flood extent mapping for rural areas not covered by the flood studies, and the peer review of this body of work commissioned by Council in 2017.


Extended Exhibition Period:

Amendment C91 is being publicly exhibited from 12 March 2020 until 4 weeks after COVID-19 restrictions are either lifted or relaxed. Further notice will be provided at a later date advising of the new closing date for submissions.

To find out more about Amendment C91, or to make a submission, go to our Have your say page


Planning Scheme Amendment C88 – Ballan Strategic Directions

Moorabool Shire Council prepared Amendment C88 to the Moorabool Planning Scheme. The Amendment is based on implementation of the Strategy the ‘Ballan Strategic Directions’ (adopted by Council in November 2017, and updated June 2018).  Planning Scheme Amendment C88 was exhibited from 30 August 2018 to 11 October 2018. Council considered submissions to Amendment C88 at its Ordinary Meeting held on 6 March 2019 and resolved to refer the submissions to an independent planning panel. The panel hearing was held in May 2019. A copy of the panel report can be downloaded here.

Amendment C88 was adopted at the Ordinary Meeting of Council on 2 October 2019.

 Amendment C88 sought to:

  • Apply the State Government’s suite of residential zones to residential areas within Ballan as identified by the Ballan Strategic Directions.
  • Provide greater certainty over the level of housing change envisaged across Ballan and ensuring new development is directed to appropriate locations capable of accommodating change.
  • Ensure that new development is consistent with the preferred neighbourhood character objectives for each precinct within Ballan.
  • Recognise the objectives of the Ballan Strategic Directions related to character and sense of place, environment, growth and infill development, the town centre and non-residential uses outside of the town centre.
  • Rezone the Ballan Industrial Estate from the Industrial 2 Zone to the Industrial 1 Zone. The existing Industrial 2 Zone provides for manufacturing industries and storage facilities which require a substantial threshold distance (of 1500m or more) to residential land. This is not appropriate due to the location of nearby existing residential land. The rezoning will not have any impact on the continuation of existing uses.
  • Rezone land at 164 Kerrins Lane (lot 2 on PS 802215) from the Farming Zone (FZ) to the IN1Z.

Amendment C88 documentation and planning maps can be viewed on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) website here.

The Ballan Strategic Directions (the basis for Amendment C88) is available below. 

Ballan Strategic Directions Part 1

Ballan Strategic Directions Part 2


Planning Scheme Amendment C86 – Anomalies and Minor Rezoning

On 7 March 2018, Council resolved to seek the authorisation from the Minister for Planning for the Amendment C86 that sought to correct a number of errors and anomalies that were identified in the Moorabool Planning Scheme. The Amendment corrects various errors and anomalies by rezoning land, removing and revising the extent and location of specific Heritage Overlays, and by correcting errors at Clause 21.11 (Reference Documents) and Schedule 1 to Clause 32.03 (Low Density Residential Zone).

Amendment C86 documentation and planning maps be inspected, free of charge, on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) website at here

The Amendment was approved by the Minister for Planning on 4 May 2020 and gazetted on 11 June 2020.


Planning Scheme Amendment C81 - Bacchus Marsh Urban Growth Framework

Amendment C81 implemented the Bacchus Marsh District Urban Growth Framework 2018 (UGF), by updating the Municipal Strategic Statement in the Moorabool Planning Scheme. The UGF was prepared in collaboration between Council and the Victorian Planning Authority (VPA).

The public exhibition period for Amendment C81 closed on 15 December 2017.  A Planning Panel was held in May and June 2018, to consider submissions received during the exhibition period.A copy of the panel report can be downloaded here.

Council considered the Planning Panel’s recommendations on 19 September 2018, and resolved to adopt Amendment C81 and the UGF, 

Details of the Amendment

Amendment C81 affects land in the urban and rural areas of Bacchus Marsh, Darley, Maddingley and Pentland Hills, together with the rural fringe areas of Merrimu, Parwan, Hopetoun Park, Coimadai (part), Long Forest (part) and Rowsley (part).

In addition to implementing the Bacchus Marsh UGF, Amendment C81 also deletes references to outdated strategies and implements relevant elements of the following strategies that have been adopted by Council:

  • Bacchus Marsh Integrated Transport Strategy (2015);
  • Moorabool Industrial Areas Strategy (2015);
  • Moorabool Shire Council Retail Strategy 2041 (2016); and
  • Moorabool Shire Economic Development Strategy (2015).

Amendment C81 promotes coordinated, master-planned development of identified areas in and around Bacchus Marsh, by identifying a need to:

  • Contain short to medium term residential development within the existing settlement boundary (infill and greenfield);
  • Prepare for medium to long term residential growth within the investigation areas at Merrimu, Parwan Station and Hopetoun Park (refer to Figure 1);
  • Require precinct structure plans for any urban growth precincts at Merrimu and Parwan Station, and a development plan for any growth precinct at Hopetoun Park, and ensure that such plans provide for appropriate community and social infrastructure, activity centres, schools, integrated transport, reticulated services and local job opportunities;
  • Prepare a precinct structure plan for Parwan Employment Precinct (refer to Figure 1), to address key infrastructure and land use priorities that will deliver value-added and vertically or horizontally integrated agribusiness/industries; and
  • Work with State Government and other relevant servicing authorities towards the servicing of Parwan Employment Precinct, with particular emphasis on the provision of reticulated water and gas.

It is important to note that Amendment C81 did not rezone any land.  It provides a strategic framework for determining where future urban growth precincts and employment growth precincts will occur.  A future, separate planning scheme amendment will be required, to identify exact boundaries for these precincts and to rezone land to facilitate master-planned urban development.

Identifying the growth needs and opportunities to 2041 (and beyond) are key elements of the UGF.  Underpinning the UGF is extensive community and agency engagement defining key principles and objectives from protecting the irrigation district through to planning future urban growth precincts and additional local employment.  Extensive background analysis concerning environmental constraints and infrastructure opportunities has been undertaken. Within the UGF there are over-arching principles, identified opportunities for growth and principles for how this can be delivered via the planning system.

Amendment C81 documentation and planning maps can be viewed on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) website here.

The Amendment was gazetted on 6 December 2018.

Below is a link to the adopted version of the UGF

Bacchus Marsh Urban Growth Framework – Adopted by Council


Planning Scheme Amendment C79 - Bacchus Marsh Housing Strategy

Moorabool Shire has prepared Amendment C79 to the Moorabool Planning Scheme. The Amendment is based on implementation of the Strategy “Housing Bacchus Marsh to 2041” (adopted by Council in August, 2016).        

The public exhibition period for Amendment C79 closed on 15 December 2017. A Planning Panel was held in May and June 2018, to consider submissions received during the exhibition period. A copy of the Panel's Report including the Panel’s recommendations can be found here.

Details of the Amendment:

  • Changes to Residential Zones and Zone Schedules.
  • Including the adopted Council Strategy “Housing Bacchus Marsh to 2041” as a reference document to the Moorabool Planning Scheme. The Strategy includes 32 neighbourhood character precincts each with corresponding design guidelines.
  • Changes to policy text and maps in the Municipal Strategic Statement of the Moorabool Planning Scheme, including Clause 21.07 (Bacchus Marsh) and Clause 21.03 (Settlement and Housing).

Objectives for the Housing Strategy include:

  • Providing an integrated body of work which captures the key aspects of housing supply and demand for Bacchus Marsh.
  • Identifying housing stock diversity targets and how these targets can be achieved.
  • Developing a clear direction and policy to enable orderly growth, managed change and the retention of key elements of neighbourhood character.
  • Developing a strategy for residential growth that considers the specific pressures for housing in Bacchus Marsh and the desire to support investment into, and access to, key activity centres throughout the settlement.
  • Providing a basis for Moorabool Shire Council to develop a clear vision on housing issues across Bacchus Marsh.

What do the Zoning and Schedule Changes mean?

Under Amendment C79 most properties in Bacchus Marsh are proposed to retain the same zone but have a new zone schedule. In these cases, it means there could be different requirements to State Standard requirements that would most often affect medium density development proposals and subdivision.

For full details please view the relevant Zone Schedules, which can be viewed within the amendment documentation page here

Settlement Types:

Amendment C79 includes four settlement types available on a large map here In order of least to most neighbourhood change these growth types can be ordered as “Minimal”, “Natural”, “Increased” and “Greenfield” growth. The settlement types are likely to affect the future change neighbourhoods can expect to experience, particularly in terms of medium density housing. A Planning Permit application that accords with the settlement type for the area would be more likely to be supported.

Chapter 4 (Settlement Framework Plan) of Housing Bacchus Marsh to 2041 contains further detail about settlement types.

Neighbourhood Character Precincts:

The neighbourhood character precincts are intended to influence the design of, primarily, infill and unit developments.

The 32 Precincts identified in the Bacchus Marsh Housing Strategy are depicted in the map below. These precincts are available on a large map here.

The Neighbourhood Character Brochures contain an explanation of each precinct. Brochures are available here.

Amendment C79 documentation and planning maps can be viewed on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) website here.

The Amendment was gazetted on 15 November 2018.

Last Updated:

Thursday, 26 May, 2016 - 15:08