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:
The Wellington Planning Scheme can be viewed in full on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.
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.
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.
Development Plans are used to guide the future use and development of particular areas of land such as new residential growth fronts. In doing so, Development Plans provide a degree of certainty about the nature of future land use or development.
Development Plans may include specific requirements relating to:
Once a Development Plan is approved, all planning permits granted by the Responsible Authority (RA) must be 'generally in accordance' with the Development Plan. To fulfil this requirement, the Responsible Authority must test each proposal against the use and development requirements of the Development Plan.
An incorporated document is part of the Planning Scheme.
Incorporated documents are essential to the proper functioning of the planning scheme and decision-making process. Documents incorporated into all planning schemes are shown in the Table to Clause 81.01, and include for example the Victorian Code for Cattle Feedlots, August 1995 and A Code of Practice for Telecommunications Facilities in Victoria.
At the local level, planning authorities can, if they so wish, incorporate their own documents. Documents may be incorporated into the planning scheme when they include detailed plans or lengthy guidelines. Development guidelines, incorporated plans, or restructure plans are common types of local incorporated documents. Incorporated documents specific to the Wellington Planning Scheme can be found in the Schedule to Clause 81.01.
One of the benefits of incorporating a document is that it carries the same statutory weight as other parts of the planning scheme. A Responsible Authority can only change an incorporated document via a Planning Scheme Amendment.
Further information about Incorporated Documents can be found in the Planning Practice Note.
Reference documents provide background information to assist in understanding the context within which a particular policy or provision has been framed. Different types of documents may perform this role, they may be wide-ranging in their content and contain information not directly relevant to specific decisions under the planning scheme.
Reference documents can be used in a number of ways. They can be used as a basis for preparing the Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS), local planning policies or requirements in the planning scheme, or can be mentioned in the planning scheme as a source of useful background information. Reference documents have only a limited role in decision-making as they are not formally part of the planning scheme. They do not have the status of incorporated documents or carry the same legislative weight.