Planning Scheme Amendments

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Planning Scheme Amendments

All past and present planning scheme amendments can be viewed at

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 mailouts
  • 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 provide by DELWP

Using Victoria's Planning System - Planning Scheme Amendments


Proposed and recently approved Planning Scheme Amendments

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Planning Scheme Amendment C88 – Ballan Strategic Directions

Moorabool Shire has 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).  Planning Scheme Amendment C88 was exhibited from 30 August 2018 to 11 October 2018. Council considered submissions to Amendment C88 at the OMC on 6 March 2019 and resolved to refer the submissions to an independent planning panel. The panel hearing was held in May 2019. You can read a copy of the panel report.

A report will be tabled at an upcoming Council meeting, to enable Council to formally consider the Panel's report and recommendations.

 Amendment C88 seeks 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 neighborhood 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.

A brochure containing a summary of Amendment C88 is available here.

Amendment C88 documentation and planning maps can be viewed at Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)

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

Ballan Strategic Directions Part 1

Ballan Strategic Directions Part 2


If you have any queries regarding Amendment C88 please contact the Strategic Planning and Development unit on 03 5366 7100 or by email at


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.

Council considered the Planning Panel’s recommendations on 19 September 2018, and resolved to adopt Amendment C81 and the UGF, Amendment C81 was approved and gazetted on 6 December 2018. Below is a link to the adopted version of 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.

Bacchus Marsh is growing rapidly by virtue of its proximity to Melbourne and the jobs and opportunities this brings.  Lifestyle and amenity are key growth drivers, along with affordable housing and land.  Quality regional health and education facilities along with high quality surrounding rural landscapes enhance the liveability of Bacchus Marsh.  Agriculture, local resources (sand and coal) and local industry provide further opportunities.

State Planning Policy identifies that Bacchus Marsh can and should grow due to these advantages.  The UGF provides a long term land use vision of how growth can be delivered, matched with co‑ordinated infrastructure delivery by agencies and other stakeholders.

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.

The UGF provides a longer term land use vision of how growth can be planned for, matched with coordinated infrastructure delivery by agencies and other stakeholders.  The vision of the UGF is:

Bacchus Marsh will be an emerging regional growth centre, providing metropolitan-edge convenience, set within a distinctive agricultural valley framed by steep escarpments and significant waterways.  Bacchus Marsh will be planned as a rural city in a farming district and as the gateway to Victoria’s Central Highlands region. 

Bacchus Marsh will draw new residents, investors and tourists due to its livability, comparatively affordable land, diversity of residential lot sizes, access to services and attractive landscapes. Bacchus Marsh Irrigation District is a food bowl for Victoria and a range of State significant natural resources present opportunities for economic growth.  As a rural city, Bacchus Marsh’s service role and investment in education, health, retail and local industry will be strengthened.  The combination of landscape, natural resources and livability are unique to Bacchus Marsh and will be central to managing future growth.

The UGF will ensure that Bacchus Marsh remains a regional settlement with its own unique identity and not a physical extension of Melton or part of Melbourne’s rapid growth.  It includes a strategy for implementation, which will ensure that road networks, rail corridors, local services and opportunities are provided for residents and visitors to enjoy. 


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.

Council adopted all of the Panel's recommedations at its meeting on 1 August 2018.  The amendment was submitted to the Minister for Planning for approval in August 2018.             

Bacchus Marsh has specifically been identified in the State Government Strategies Plan Melbourne and the Central Highlands Regional Growth Plan as a suitable location to accommodate growth due to its regional service centre role, its relative accessibility to Melbourne, Geelong and Ballarat, its well established town centre and the availability of greenfield and infill development opportunities.

Housing Bacchus Marsh is a localised response to the State Governments identification of Bacchus Marsh as an area for growth. It seeks to influence the form and location of future growth to ensure that growth can occur in appropriate locations, whilst simultaneously promoting good design and desirable neighbourhood character elements. Under the proposed amendment, some areas can expect to experience more or less neighbourhood change than others.

The implementation of Housing Bacchus Marsh to 2041 will mostly affect newly proposed medium density and unit developments, but it will also affect subdivision and other controls in certain areas. The methodology for determining levels of change has been based on neighbourhood character, infrastructure and landscape constraints, proximity to public transport, proximity to services and other factors.


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.

Amendment C79 is comprised of:

  • 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).


What do the Zoning and Schedule Changes mean?

Under Amendment C79 most properties in Bacchus Marsh are proposed to retained 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.


Proposed Zone Schedule Proposed differences to State-wide Clause 54 and 55 Standards Proposed Minimum Lot Size for Subdivision Proposed Other Requirements
LDRZ 1 None 4000 square metres None

Walls not permitted on boundaries.

Max front fence height: 1.2 metres

700 square metres Landscape Plan (when a planning application is required).
NRZ 3 None 500 square metres Landscape Plan (when a planning application is required).
NRZ 4 Max front fence height: 1.2 metres 1200 square metres Landscape Plan (when a planning application is required).

Walls not permitted on boundaries

Max front fence height: 1.2 metres

1500 square metres Landscape Plan (when a planning application is required).
GRZ 5 None N/A Landscape Plan (when a planning application is required).

Maximum Front Fence Height: 1.2 metres

Minimum Street Setback: 5 metres

Maximum Site Coverage: 70%

N/A Landscape Plan (when a planning application is required).


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.


Description of Settlement Types   Selection criteria (methodology) for areas within this settlement type
Minimal Residential Growth  Will predominantly comprise of detached dwellings, generally of a modest scale, with dual occupancies, of one to two storeys only being supported where the intent of the settlement type and preferred character is not compromised.

Any specific neighbourhood character and/or heritage significance that requires protecting within the precinct.

Any significant infrastructure constraints within the precinct.

Any significant landscape constraints within the precinct.

The ability of the precinct to undergo change.

The ability of the precinct to access services and facilities, including public transport.

An assessment of the precinct against the change area matrix included at Annexure 2 to Housing Bacchus Marsh to 2041.

Natural Residential Growth

Will allow for modest housing growth and a variety of housing typologies in the form of townhouses and multi-dwelling developments, with detached houses continuing to dominate. Low scale medium density housing and alternative housing typologies  (such as co-housing, retirement villages, aged care etc) may be appropriate in areas within the precincts that are more accessible to public transport, activity centres and open space than others.

Precincts that are generally not within walking catchment of key public transport routes and activity centre catchments.

Precincts which are partially constrained by environmental or physical conditions, as identified in the planning scheme or other Council data, such as covenants, servicing etc.

Precincts that generally do not have significant heritage or neighbourhood character values.

The ability of the precinct to undergo change.

An assessment of the precinct against the change area matrix included at Annexure 2 Housing Bacchus Marsh to 2041.

Increased Residential Growth

Housing development will generally be in the form of townhouse and multi-dwelling Developments with opportunities for apartments and alternative forms of housing (co-housing, aged care, retirement villages, etc).



Precincts that are within a walkable catchment of the Bacchus Marsh Railway Station and/or bus services.

Precincts that are generally within close proximity to activity centres or where access to some level of services and facilities are within a walkable catchment (i.e. Bacchus Marsh Town Centre, Darley Plaza, the proposed Activity Centre in the Stonehill development, Maddingley and the shopping strip on Grant Street).

The ability of the precinct to undergo change.

An assessment of the precinct against the change area matrix included at Annexure 2 to Housing Bacchus Marsh to 2041.

Greenfield Residential Growth Given the current status of these developments, with a number of approvals issued  (or soon to be issued), as part of preparing Housing Bacchus Marsh to 2041, there is limited ability to redirect development within these areas. It is noted that these areas are a critical source of land supply for Bacchus Marsh to 2041, and will play a crucial role in meeting the housing needs of current and future residents.  

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.

Strategic Justification for Amendment C79

Amendment C79 is based on “Housing Bacchus Marsh to 2041”, available below together with Appendices.

Housing Bacchus Marsh to 2041



Find out more about Amendment C79:

The Amendment documentation and supporting documents can be inspected free of charge on the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning website at


Planning Scheme Amendment C78 - Small Towns and Settlements Strategy

Amendment C78 to the Moorabool Planning Scheme was approved on 30 April 2018. The Amendment affects all Small Towns and Settlements within the boundaries of the Shire.

The Amendment proposed to insert key recommendations from the Small Towns and Settlements Strategy within the Municipal Strategic Statement. The following Clauses of the Planning Scheme were amended.

  • 21.01 (Municipal Context)
  • 21.02 (Natural Environment)
  • 21.03 (Settlement and Housing)
  • 21.09 (Small Towns)
  • 21.11 (Reference Documents)

Find out more about Amendment C78:

The Amendment documentation and supporting documents can also be inspected free of charge on the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning website at

The amendment was gazetted on 31 May 2018.

Planning Panels Report

A Planning Panel was appointed to hear parties to the amendment and resolve submissions.  The Panel's report was received by Council on 19 January 2018.

The Planning Panels Report is available here.






Last Updated:

Thursday, 26 May, 2016 - 15:08