Planning Scheme Amendment process
The Planning Scheme is regularly reviewed and updated as Maroondah changes. As a result, amendments are made to parts of the scheme each year. Common amendments include:
- the implementation of new policy
- changes in planning processes
- a change to the zone of particular properties.
Council also regularly reviews the scheme as a whole.
There is information on current amendments on the current amendments page of our website. Details of earlier amendments are found on the Victorian Government’s Planning website.
Stages in the amendment process
The Planning and Environment Act 1987 outlines how planning schemes can be amended. There are five steps in the process:
Most planning scheme amendments are initiated by either council or the Minister for Planning. They need to make sure that amendments:
- have planning merit
- are consistent with the future strategic directions for the municipality.
Others can ask for changes to the Scheme. They must be able to show why the scheme should be changed and what the changes should look like.
When a private planning scheme amendment is proposed Council officers will review it. Council will then decide whether the amendment will proceed to authorisation.
Council applies to the Minister for Planning for authorisation of the amendment. The purpose of this step is to ensure that the amendment:
- is consistent with state policy or interests
- uses the Victoria Planning Provisions appropriately.
Exhibition is the term for the public consultation stage of an amendment process. The Planning and Environment Act 1987 outlines when and how this happens.
Anyone can lodge a submission to an amendment that is on exhibition. Submissions can:
- support the amendment
- oppose the amendment
- suggest changes to the amendment.
You are encouraged to provide any submission to council before the end of exhibition. This makes sure that Council can consider your views. It also means that you will have the opportunity to present your views to a panel if one is appointed.
After exhibition Council will consider the amendment and the submissions received.
If submissions are received Council may ask the Minister for Planning to appoint an independent panel. The panel considers the amendment and the submissions made. They may conduct a public hearing. The panel prepares a report with recommendations about the amendment.
After Council receives the panel’s recommendations it decides whether to adopt:
- some or all of the panel’s recommendations
- the amendment unchanged
- an altered amendment.
It then submits the amendment to the Minister for Planning for final approval. In some cases Council may instead decide to abandon the amendment.
The Minister for Planning is responsible for the final decision on amendments adopted by Council. They can:
- approve the amendment unchanged
- approve it with changes
- refuse it.
If the Minister approves the amendment a notice is placed in the Government Gazette. The planning scheme is formally changed at that time.
Chapter 2 of the Victorian Government’s Using Victoria’s Planning System provides detailed information on the process. You can download it on the Victorian Government’s Planning website
Fees and charges
Fees for the amendment process are paid in stages. They are set by the Planning and Environment (Fees) Regulations 2016 and are adjusted at the start of each financial year. Current fees are on the State Government's Planning website
In addition, all Council costs associated with the processing of an amendment are passed on to a proponent. This includes:
- Exhibition expenses, such as the cost of direct mail and notices in the newspaper and Government Gazette.
- The costs and expenses incurred for holding a planning panel. The actual cost will be dependent on the number of panel members and the length of the panel hearing.
For further information on Privately-Initiated Planning Scheme Amendments view the Policy