A Guide to the Planning System
Planning refers to the decisions that change the environment and affect everyday life. These decisions might be about new public transport, the size of a new shopping centre, the location of parks, a bike path or a new road. These planning decisions may influence how we get to work, where we shop and what we do in our spare time.
Under Victoria’s planning system local councils and the State Government develop planning schemes to control land use and development, and to ensure the protection and conservation of land in Victoria in the present and long-term interests of all Victorians.
These schemes are developed in line with planning policy and strategy and contain planning policies, zones, overlays and other provisions that affect how land can be used and developed.
On this page:
- Some common planning processes
- Planning on a Page
- Planning: a Short Guide
- Using Victoria's Planning System
- Practice and Advisory Notes
Planning on a Page
This simple poster shows how everyone can be involved and influence planning policy and its translation into the planning controls.
Planning: a Short Guide
Planning: a Short Guide outlines the planning permit application process and planning scheme amendment processes, and the course to be followed when applying for or making submissions about planning permits. It is designed to clarify the rights, roles and responsibilities of all parties at each stage of the process.
Using Victoria's Planning System is a guide for those who use the planning system on a regular basis as well as those who have occasional contact with it. The guide is designed to assist professional planners, officers of authorities, councillors, students, people making an application for a planning permit and people who may be affected by planning proposals. It is a technical guide to interpretation and administrative procedures under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and the Planning and Environment Regulations 2005 and their interaction with other related legislation and planning schemes.
For a complete hard copy of Using Victoria's Planning System, print the PDFs below. If you wish to maintain a current hard copy, subscribe to our free weekly email alert Planning Matters to be advised when chapters are updated.
Using Victoria's Planning System is updated on an ongoing basis and all chapters except Chapter 5 and the Index have been revised. Chapter 2 requires further revision to reflect changes to the Planning and Environment Act.
The documents below comprise the latest version of Using Victoria's Planning System.
Accessible Microsoft Word format version
A series of practice and advisory notes are available to assist users of the planning system.
These practice notes and advisory notes are generally aimed at planning professionals, but they can also be useful for people who only occasionally interact with the system.
• Practice Notes relate to a range of planning processes and topics, including preparation of planning scheme content and assessment under schemes
• Advisory Notes – relate to changes to specific subjects and new initiatives.
You can view a full list of planning publications, guides and notes in Publications & Research.