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What is a planning scheme?

Understanding a planning scheme.

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? 

So a planning scheme manages growth and regulates future development within a region…

What is a planning scheme speech bubbles

What is a planning scheme speech bubbles

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