Planning Scheme Review
The Planning Scheme is the legal framework that guides decisions on how all land in the City of Whittlesea is used and developed.
It outlines how Council will decide which uses and activities are appropriate and what restrictions, controls or standards may apply to developments.
We are required to review the Whittlesea Planning Scheme every 4 years, as part of our obligations under the Planning and Environment Act 1987.
All Planning Scheme review findings and recommendations are reported to the Council and, subsequently, to the Minister for Planning.
Purpose and benefits of Planning Scheme reviews
We review the Planning Scheme at the same time as we prepare our Council Plan.
This ensures the review recommends improvements to address the land use and development planning issues that have been identified by our community.
Planning Scheme reviews are useful for identifying where we need to improve local planning policies and controls.
The review findings may recommend specific changes that should be made to correct information that has been superseded by changes legislation or controls that have become redundant as a result of new development.
These changes may be made through procedural Planning Scheme amendments once the review findings have been endorsed by Council.
Planning Scheme reviews may also recommend where additional research or strategic work should be carried out at a State or Local Government level to help support planning decisions.
This work may result in changes to Planning Scheme to introduce new State or Local planning policies or planning controls.
All such changes are exhibited for public comments as part of the standard Planning Scheme amendment process.
2013 Planning Scheme Review
We last reviewed the Whittlesea Planning Scheme in 2013. The findings and recommendations are outlined in the:
Council endorsed this report at its meeting on 7 May 2013 and reported to the Minister for Planning on 24 May 2013.
The 2013 Planning Scheme Review specifically focused on ways to improve the Local Planning Policy Framework, which is the basis for how we apply the local planning controls, including zones and overlays.
This review has already resulted in 2 Planning Scheme amendments that change how information is presented in the Local Planning Policy Framework:
Amendment C159 (adopted November 2012) - made changes to the Municipal Strategic Statement (Clause 21). Existing municipal-wide policy directions were re-formatted to present information in themes that are consistent with the State Planning Policy Framework.
Amendment C177 (currently being considered by the Minister for Planning) - will further improve how information is presented in the Local Planning Policy Framework, by relocating some of the existing Local Planning Policies from Clause 22 to the Municipal Strategic Statement.
Both of these amendments also made minor corrections to existing information and removed redundant information and controls, but did not alter the strategic policy intention or direction.
We will undertake projects over the next 4 years to address the recommendations of the 2013 Planning Scheme review, which may include more research or studies to support future Planning Scheme amendments.
In 2014, we will prepare a Planning Scheme amendment to add information from our adopted Plans, strategies and policies to the Municipal Strategic Statement and Local Planning Policies.
18 March 2014