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 is this important for you?

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

Why are we reviewing and rewriting the Planning Scheme?

The planning scheme is being reviewed to ensure that it is up to date and addresses key issues that our municipality is experiencing now, or we think it may face in the future.

We need to align the planning scheme to recent strategies and plans such as the Council Plan 2017-2021, the Regional Growth Plan and other plans undertaken by Council. We also need to include the foundations in the planning scheme for future strategic work.

Council has engaged Plan2Place Consulting to work with the community to review the Hepburn Planning Scheme.

What is in the planning scheme?

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

The planning scheme includes tools include zones, overlays, provisions and general provisions.

How the planning scheme fits together

Planning Policy Framework (State)State policies that affect all planning schemes in Victoria
Planning Policy Framework (Regional)Regional policies that apply to planning schemes within a particular region
Planning Policy Framework (Local)Municipal Planning Strategy and local planning policies that apply to a particular planning scheme
ZonesIncluding residential, commercial and rural zones
OverlaysIncluding heritage, design and development and environmental significance overlays
Particular ProvisionsIncluding open space contributions and native vegetation controls
General ProvisionsIncluding general permit exemptions

The Hepburn Planning Scheme is prepared and adopted by Council with the Minister for Planning providing final approval.

Future planning scheme

A planning scheme must be reviewed by Council to ensure that it is achieving the strategic objectives for land use and development that are aspired to.

The Victorian Government requires that all planning schemes are prepared based on a new model that includes a Municipal Planning Strategy and a Planning Policy Framework which integrates state, regional and local planning policies. This will result in the Hepburn Planning Scheme looking different to how it currently looks.

What is the review process?

  1. Community has their say

We will seek community feedback to identify their aspirations for the future of land use and development in the municipality that the planning scheme should address.

  1. Data and evidence are collected

The Consultant team will compile existing data and information for the municipality, review the performance of the current planning scheme and factor in broader strategic trends to inform the key strategic directions for the future.

  1. Community input

We will seek further community input and feedback to ensure that we hear and understand the key issues that people feel the planning scheme should address. The consultant team will test some options to tackle these issues in a second round of consultation.

  1. Planning Scheme Review Report

We will use the feedback we receive from the community and other key stakeholders to draft the Planning Scheme Review Report.

  1. Report finalised and submitted to the Minister for Planning

We anticipate that the final report, taking into account community submissions, will be ready for Council to consider early in 2020. Following endorsement by Council, the review report will then be submitted to the Minister for Planning.

  1. Implement the actions and recommendations

Council will consider the actions and recommendations outlined in the review report. Implementation of these key issues and recommendations will be incorporated into an updated Hepburn Planning Scheme. Further consultation on this new planning scheme will be provided in 2020.

What we heard

In the first round of consultation we asked you what your aspirations were for Hepburn, what you wanted to see stay the same and what you wanted to change. Below is a summary of what you told us.

Agriculture

Agricultural land is a valued resource in Hepburn. Agriculture is part of the Shire’s history and will remain an important business providing jobs and opportunities into the future. You told us:

  • Agricultural land should be protected
  • A more flexible approach to what constitutes agriculture should be considered with potential for innovation and different farming practices.

Potential planning scheme responses were tested in the second round of consultation. To view these please click on the following link: Agriculture Theme

Landscape Protection

The landscape of Hepburn Shire is loved and is a key asset of the Shire. Protecting the landscape from development or major change is important. You told us the planning scheme should:

  • Offer protection for current landscapes
  • Prevent development that impacts negatively on landscapes.

Potential planning scheme responses were tested in the second round of consultation. To view these please click on the following link: Landscape Protection Theme 

Township Character

The townships are loved and valued by residents and visitors alike with a strong sense of community and the heritage character. You told us the townships should:

  • Maintain the heritage and small town feel
  • Provide opportunities for a range of services and facilities (not just tourist shops)
  • Look for opportunities to provide a range of housing options including affordable housing.

Potential planning scheme responses were tested in the second round of consultation. To view these please click on the following link: Town Character Theme

Growth and Development

Some development within Hepburn Shire is inevitable to provide housing and services for residents and visitors. This should be carefully considered and be in keeping with the heritage and rural feel of the areas. You told us development should:

  • Be kept within town boundaries
  • Be in keeping with local surrounds (maintain gardens, heritage and general level of density)
  • Not impact on landscapes
  • Occur in a planned and considered way.

Potential planning scheme responses were tested in the second round of consultation. To view these please click on the following link: Growth and Development Theme

Environment and Sustainability

Hepburn Shire is an area with a range of renewable resources that are valued by community and visitors. The sustainable use of these resources and protecting them for future generations is essential. To remain sustainable you told us we should:

  • Protect the food growing heritage/ soil/ water/ infrastructure
  • Plan for/ mitigate against climate change
  • Better protect environmental resources
  • Plan to mitigate the impact of bushfire

Potential planning scheme responses were tested in the second round of consultation. To view these please click on the following link: Environment and Sustainability Theme

Tourism

Tourism is an important industry in Hepburn Shire. Visitors enjoy the opportunity to visit the beautiful towns and countryside. Tourism will remain an essential industry for Hepburn Shire. To manage tourism you told us we should:

  • Broadly maintain the current tourism that is on offer
  • Manage tourism to ensure the need of tourists and residents are met
  • Look at methods to maintain housing affordability for local residents
  • Look at opportunities to reduce the numbers of empty houses.

Potential planning scheme responses were tested in the second round of consultation. To view these please click on the following link: Tourism Theme

Planning

Planning is often confusing and costly. Residents need to have a clear understanding of the planning rules and their rights and responsibilities. You told us Hepburn Shire can assist in this by:

  • Ensuring a consistent approach to the application of planning scheme
  • Reviewing some designations particularly rural living and agricultural land
  • Assessing the opportunity for succession planning by providing housing opportunities on rural land (second dwelling)
  • Clarifying how and when land can be subdivided
  • Reviewing the zoning of marginal farming land.

Potential planning scheme responses were tested in the second round of consultation. To view these please click on the following link: Planning Theme

Infrastructure

Hepburn Shire covers a large area and requires good infrastructure to provide for its community. You told us that:

  • There is a need for better transport connections
  • Infrastructure needs to keep up with population/tourism growth.

Potential planning scheme responses were tested in the second round of consultation. To view these please click on the following link: Infrastructure Theme

Next steps

We will:

  • Take into account your thoughts.
  • Refine research about how the planning scheme is performing.
  • Seek your feedback on possible responses.
  • Develop a series of recommended actions for Council to consider that will shape the new planning scheme. (Planning scheme review report)
  • Report back to you on what Council decides to prioritise.
  • Inform you of further opportunities to provide your input to the new planning scheme.

Updates

A community survey is currently underway to seek your views about Hepburn Shire and your answers will be used to help inform a vision to guide the planning scheme review.

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