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Background to the Hepburn Planning Scheme Review (HSPR or Review)

The Hepburn Planning Scheme (HPS) was gazetted on 8 June 2000 and replaced the former Daylesford, Creswick and Glenlyon Planning Schemes and parts of the Talbot and Clunes Planning Schemes and Kyneton Planning Scheme.

Section 12B of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (P&E Act) requires a planning authority to review the provisions of its planning scheme every four years and within a year of adopting its Council Plan.

Council undertook planning scheme reviews in 2003, 2008 and 2011 but none were implemented. A previous review in 2011 resulted in Amendment C58 but was abandoned by Council. The scheme has only had minor changes since 2000, mostly as a result of State-wide VC and GC amendments.

In mid 2019, Council commenced its most recent and thorough review of the HPS to guide future of land use and development within the municipality over coming years.

The Review and the planning scheme amendment to implement the Review (Amendment C80hepb) also coincided with a requirement to respond to the new Planning Policy Framework (PPF) and translate it into contemporary document based on the existing planning toolbox, known as the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP).

Review Purpose

The purpose of the Review was to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the HPS in achieving:

  • The objectives of planning in Victoria.
  • Its capacity to deliver the (albeit outgoing) Council Plan.
  • The objectives and strategies of the planning scheme including the State Planning Policy Framework (SPPF) and the LPPF (now known as the PPF).

The review considered:

  • The effectiveness of local planning policies, zones, overlays and schedules.
  • The effectiveness of development controls.
  • What was working and what needed refinement.

The review also evaluated the HPS to ensure that it:

  • Was (or was made) consistent in its form and content with any directions or guidelines issued by the Minister under Section 7(5) of the P&E Act.
  • Set out effectively the policy objectives for use and development of land in the area to which the planning scheme applies.
  • Made effective use of State and local provisions to give effect to State and local planning policy objectives.

A key finding of the Review was that the HPS was not delivering a clear and effective land use and development planning framework for the municipality. It was also found that the planning scheme could be better targeted to key strategic directions, more streamlined, and include less repetition with clearer requirements. Further strategic planning projects were also identified so that the HPS could be further strengthened and aligned to the community’s vision for the municipality.

The HPSR comprised the:

  • Data and Evidence Report which provided a summary of background reports and data prepared since the adoption of the HPS on 8 June 2000 and the information guiding the preparation of a reviewed planning scheme.
  • Stakeholder and Community Engagement Report which was based on consultation undertaken in September and October 2019 seeking the community’s views and aspirations for the future of land use and development across the municipality.
  • Planning Scheme Audit and Review Report which incorporated the findings of the two above reports and made recommendations for the planning scheme over the short, medium and long term for Council.

The three above reports can be accessed at: