What is the Planning Scheme?
Planning schemes set out policies and provisions for the use, development and in some instances the protection of land and buildings. Each local government area in Victoria, and some special planning areas, is covered by a planning scheme.
Planning schemes contain both State and Local Planning Provisions and are legal documents prepared by the local council or the Minister for Planning and approved by the Minister.
Changes to the planning scheme may be made by both the Minister and the local council, however all changes must be formally approved by the Minister. Changes to the planning scheme are undertaken through a Planning Scheme Amendment process.
A local council’s planning scheme consists of:
- State Planning Policy Framework (SPPF) and Local Planning Policy Framework (LPPF), which outlines state and local strategic policy relating to how land should be used and developed.
- Maps which show land zoning and any relevant overlays affecting properties within the municipality.
- Documents which outline Zones and Overlays, and associated Schedules, which contain greater detail about how properties can be used and developed, and any permit requirements.
- Particular Provisions, which detail specific requirements for uses and development such as Car Parking (Clause 52.06) and Bicycle Facilities (Clause 52.34).
- General Provisions, which outline operational requirements for matters such as land that is within two zones, ancillary activities, and the referral of applications.
- Incorporated documents.
- A list of all amendments that have been made to the local and state planning schemes.
What is the difference between Planning and Building?
Building permits are issued by a registered building surveyor and generally relate only to the construction aspects of a particular building or development.
Planning permits are legal documents that give applicants permission for a particular land use or development to occur on a specified parcel of land. Planning permission may be required under a zone, overlay or particular provision within the Wellington Planning Scheme.
If a planning permit is required, it must be obtained prior to a building permit being issued.
A planning permit does not remove the need to obtain a building permit.
Departments involved in the Development Process
Strategic Planning is responsible for developing the policies and controls that make up the Wellington Planning Scheme and considering requests for changes to the Wellington Planning Scheme, including the rezoning of land.
Statutory Planning is responsible for considering applications for a planning permit, such as an application to build or extend a dwelling, change use from a business to a residence, open a business or display an advertising sign. Applications for planning permits are assessed against the requirements of the Wellington Planning Scheme.
Building is the term responsible for considering applications for a building permit, occupancy permit and conducting building safety inspections. After receiving your planning permit (if required) you must apply for a building permit through a private building surveyor.
Further information on the planning scheme structure can be found on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website (DELWP) website.