A planning scheme is an important document that the community, the development industry and governments look to in order to understand a local government’s plan for managing growth and change, including what sort of development that can be expected in a local area.
It sets out the future vision for a local government area in a strategic plan or strategic framework. The vision is the ‘big picture’ part of a planning scheme that maps out the intentions for the area in 20 to 30 years’ time, providing a series of strategies to manage future growth and development.
To help achieve or implement the vision and strategic framework, a planning scheme regulates:
- what development should occur where - by including each parcel of land in a zone
- how development should occur - by outlining the rules (codes) against which development must be assessed
- what assessment process is required - by stating whether a development application is required, and if so, the process to be followed.
A planning scheme seeks to balance competing objectives such as:
- making sure there is enough land available in the right locations to support community needs (including housing, services and business areas) whilst ensuring natural assets are protected
- maximising livability of communities by ensuring there is green space, community facilities, places to work and shop and housing options for all
- Ensuring infrastructure is planned for and used efficiently (roads, pathways, and stormwater drainage)
- Protecting natural areas and human made features such as heritage buildings
- making communities more resilient to natural hazards such as floods and bushfires
More information can also be found by referring to the state government's fact sheet: what is a planning scheme?