Proposed changes to the Hepburn Planning Scheme

Amendment C80hepb


What is a Planning Scheme?

A planning scheme sets out the way land can be used, developed and protected, and guides planning and development decisions.

All land within Hepburn is affected by the planning scheme and is subject to its provisions.


Why the planning scheme is important?

The planning scheme affects everyone because it outlines how and where people can develop or use their land in the Hepburn Shire.


Why is Council rewriting the Planning Scheme?

The Amendment implements the recommendations of the Hepburn Planning Scheme Review 2020 which Council adopted at its meeting of February 2020.  The Review found the need to

  • ensure that the Scheme is up to date and addresses key issues that our municipality is experiencing now and in the future;
  • align the planning scheme to its key strategies and plans including the Council Plan and the Regional Growth Plan; and
  • identify future strategic work that will continue to reflect the direction of the Shire.


What is in the planning scheme?

The planning scheme includes state, regional and local planning policies, strategies and provisions set out in a Planning Policy Framework (PPF).

The planning scheme is effectively a ‘legal tool box’ that implements the state, regional and local policies and strategies.. The ‘tools’ or provisions include zones, overlays, particular provisions and general provisions.

Click here to view the Pre-Exhibition Version – Hepburn Planning Scheme 


What will an updated Planning Scheme actually deliver?

The new Hepburn Planning Scheme will:

  • deliver an improved basis for decision making on land use and development in the Shire. It will be clearer about what the community’s expectations are, if a permit is required and what Council’s expectations are for applicants. This will make the scheme easier to navigate for the community and reduce confusion and delays.
  • confirm the foundations for further strategic work. A program of further work was identified in the Hepburn Planning Scheme Review 2020 and includes undertaking structure planning work in each of the five main townships, reviewing agriculture land, protecting heritage and biodiversity.


Will farmers be affected?

Some farm land in the west of the Shire is proposed to have a Significant Landscape Overlay (SLO) added. This may require a permit for some buildings and works and vegetation removal. If the SLO is supported,  the siting of new farm buildings and their visual impact on the landscape will need to be considered before a permit is issued.


How might township residents be affected?

The amendment proposes to change height limits for new development in Clunes, Daylesford, Hepburn Springs and Trentham. If the amendment is supported,  instead of being able to build 3 storeys (11m) a maximum building height of 2 storeys (9m) is proposed (Note: this does not apply to Low Density Residential Zone land which remains unchanged).

For Daylesford the amendment proposes to remove the Design and Development Overlay (DDO) due to a ‘double up’ of existing planning controls: the Design and Development Overlay and the Neighbourhood Character Overlay on the same land. If the amendment is supported only the Neighbourhood Character Overlay will remain. This will reduce permit requirements but not impact character and development outcomes.


How might businesses in commercial and industrial zones be affected?

The amendment will not impact on current commercial and industrial zones.


How has the Amendment been developed?

The amendment has been informed by:

  • The findings of the 2019 Hepburn Planning Scheme Review (adopted by Council in February 2020)
  • Feedback from the community and key stakeholders undertaken in 2019 and early 2020 via surveys, drop in sessions and written feedback.


Click here to see background on the Hepburn Planning Scheme Review


We have completed a comprehensive community consultation process for the scheme review, receiving 276 submissions from the community and government agencies. We have considered all of the submissions and Council has determined to:

  • propose some changes to the scheme review
  • refer the submissions to an independent panel appointed by the Minister for Planning

The independent panel hearing is scheduled to begin on Monday 23 November, starting with representatives for Council presenting our final recommendations on the Scheme review.  Community members can find more details on the planning panel process and to register their interest to attend at (

Go to the Council agenda to read the officer report (

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