The Planning Scheme Amendment Process

Sometimes the Baw Baw Planning Scheme may need to be changed to reflect new circumstances. Changes to the scheme are known as planning scheme amendments.

Those changes may be introduced to respond to changes in an area, implement the recommendations or vision of an adopted plan or strategy, incorporate a new Council policy, or improve how the scheme operates.

An amendment may involve a change to a planning scheme map (zone and/or overlay), a change to the ordinance or written part of the scheme or both. 

The Baw Baw Planning Scheme comprises of numerous sections including:

  • Planning Policy Framework (state, regional and local)
  • Zones
  • Overlays
  • Particular Provisions
  • General Provisions
  • Operational Provisions

The Planning Scheme is usually amended on Council request or as a third party request. The process is the same in each instance as the planning authority for Baw Baw Shire is usually Council (although it can sometimes be the Minister for Planning), however associated fees are involved with private party requests.

Click here to read more about amending a planning scheme.

To request an amendment to the planning scheme, click here.

Stages of the Planning Scheme Amendment Process

The following information details the different stages in a planning scheme amendment.

1. Authorisation

  • An Amendment can only be prepared if authorised by the Planning Minister under section 8A of the Planning and Environment Act 1987. This is to ensure that the proposed Amendment is consistent and can be applicable to state and local policy.
  • Prior to authorisation, a number of Amendment documents are required to be prepared. In addition to changes to the planning scheme maps and ordinance, an Explanatory Report must be prepared.
  • The proposed Amendment must also be approved and endorsed at a Council Meeting before seeking authorisation.

2. Exhibition

  • Once the Amendment has been authorised it will, in most cases, proceed to be exhibited for public view and consultation. Certain types of Amendments are exempted from exhibition.
  • During this stage all adjoining, adjacent land owners and occupiers, prescribed ministers, relevant authorities and agencies must be notified.
  • The Amendment must be exhibited publicly for a minimum of one month.

3. Consideration of submissions

  • Community and stakeholders’ submissions received by Council are considered and analysed.
  • The Council can then either determine to abandon the amendment or refer it to an independent planning panel for consideration of submissions objecting to the Amendment that cannot be resolved – this panel is appointed by the Minister of Planning.
  • In the case of no objecting submissions, the adoption process for the Amendment can begin.

4. Planning panel hearing

  • To appoint a planning panel the matter must be endorsed at a Council Meeting.
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to pay the cost of the planning panel. Note that fees can increase significantly depending on the amount of panel members and length of the panel process.
  • The panel will consider all unresolved submissions,  hear any of the original submitters who elect to be heard, the proponent and the Council. They will then prepare a panel report and send it to Council.
  • Council's final decision does not have to follow panel recommendations, but has to consider it and provide detailed justification for any differences to the panel recommendations.

5. Ministerial approval

  • Council adopts the Amendment and refers the Amendment for Ministerial Approval.
  • The amendment is published in the Government Gazette once the Minister of Planning approves the Amendment. The date of gazette notice is the date when the planning scheme gets amended on all its platforms.