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Upcoming changes to the Port Phillip Planning Scheme

On 7 July 2021, Council endorsed changes to the Port Phillip Planning Scheme and resolved to prepare a planning scheme amendment to reflect these changes. The amendment proposes to implement the findings of the Port Phillip Planning Scheme Audit Report 2018 and update the local Planning Scheme to align with State Government requirements. To ensure our community has a chance to review changes and submit suggestions and feedback, we will soon be putting the amendment on exhibition. During this period, we invite you to make written submissions to address proposed changes to the Planning Scheme, a robust process allowing for an independent review of submissions at a planning panel hearing and final approval of the amendment by the Minister for Planning.

The Port Phillip Planning Scheme outlines how land can be used, developed and conserved in our community. This ensures our City develops responsibly and preserves our distinctive character. We do this by setting a vision for the City of Port Phillip, currently through our Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS), which outlines key strategic planning, land use and development objectives.

Like all local planning schemes, the Port Phillip Planning Scheme includes the state planning provisions, a framework outlining general principles and policies for land use and development in Victoria. This state framework is included to ensure the local vision and policies relevant to our community also promote Victoria’s planning objectives.

While each municipality has its own planning scheme and local policies, they must be consistent with state policies and should demonstrate how broader state planning will be achieved or implemented in a local context.

That’s why, when the Victorian Government makes an amendment to the state planning provisions, it impacts our local planning scheme. As a result, all Councils are required to amend local content to reflect any changes arising from the state amendment.

In 2018, Victorian Government Amendment VC148 introduced changes to planning schemes to simplify and improve their structure, function and operation and remove unnecessary regulation.

Prior to this, Council adopted the Planning Scheme Audit Report in 2018, which you can find out more about here. All local content contained in the MSS and local policies were then reviewed and translated into a new format to comply with Victorian Government changes introduced by Amendment VC148 and implement the recommendations in the Planning Scheme Audit Report.

Most of this translation is ‘policy neutral’ and does not alter the meaning of the policy. Where it is not policy neutral, it introduces new work produced by Council since our last planning scheme review in 2011.

This is not a wholescale review of all local planning policy objectives and controls, and this is not a review of any zoning or overlay controls that apply to properties. In addition, the Amendment:

  • Introduces new background documents, amends some existing ones and gives effect to adopted Council strategies and plans such as Act and Adapt; In Our Backyard; and Move, Connect, Live, which have been underpinned by extensive community consultation.
  • Introduces local VicSmart planning provisions, proposing to formalise our Fast Track service that streamlines the assessment of eligible minor planning permit applications.
  • Updates heritage provisions to reflect Council’s new Heritage Design Guidelines and clarify information requirements for planning permit applications in the Heritage Overlay.

We will shortly be announcing public exhibition of this amendment where the community are welcome to discuss the proposed changes with Council officers, and / or make a submission in relation to any of the proposed changes.

For updates on all upcoming announcements and consultations relating to this amendment, register on our Have Your Say page by clicking the Follow button at the top of this page.