Planning Scheme Review

The City of Stonnington has recently completed a review of its Planning Scheme. A Planning Scheme sets out the direction for the use and development of land within the municipality. The Planning Scheme Review ensured that the Stonnington Planning Scheme remains relevant, meets community needs, and aligns with State and local policy. It outlines our assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of the current Planning Scheme and identifies opportunities for improvement and subsequent actions.

All Victorian local governments are required to undertake a Planning Scheme Review under Section 12B of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 within twelve months of adoption of a new four-year Council Plan.

At its meeting on November 28 2022, Stonnington City Council resolved to endorse the final Stonnington Planning Scheme Review and forward it to the Minister for Planning.

What is the Stonnington Planning Scheme?

The Stonnington Planning Scheme came into operation on 13 July 2000, and sets out the direction for using, developing and protecting land within the city.

The Planning Scheme is made up for four key components:

  1. Planning Policy Framework - a standard set of planning policies and controls that apply to all local government areas within Victoria. We cannot change the Planning Policy Framework.
  2. Municipal Strategic Statement - outlines the key land use and development objectives and strategies for our local government, and provides the basis for zones, overlays and particular provisions. We review the Municipal Strategic Statement every three years.
  3. Local planning policies
  4. Planning Scheme maps

The document below, also available on the Victorian Government's Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website, explains what a Planning Scheme Review is and suggests a process for conducting and reporting a review.

View Planning Practice Note 32: Review of Planning Schemes(PDF, 213KB)

Outcomes of the review

The Stonnington Planning Scheme Review Report is publicly available online. The Review found that work responding to many of the themes identified in community consultation is already being progressed through Council’s Annual Plan initiatives. These projects include a Housing Strategy, Environmentally Sustainable Development Policy, Neighbourhood Activity Centre Framework and an Open Space Strategy, as well as implementation of the Heritage Strategy and Action Plan 2018-2029 as well as transport and sustainability projects.

In addition to acknowledging work already underway, the review identified several areas for additional work, including the following:

  • Tree protection and urban forest strategy
  • Sustainable transport and car parking
  • Liquor licensing
  • Signage
  • Managing built form at interfaces between sensitive residential areas and areas identified for growth
  • Defining community benefit related to the Activity Centre Zone
  • Urban design, design quality and design excellence
  • Greater recognition and celebration of Aboriginal cultural heritage

By continuing the current pipeline of projects together with consideration of the additional work outlined above, the Planning Scheme will better meet community needs and align with State and Local Government Policy.

Council endorsed the Stonnington Planning Scheme Review in November 2022.

The Stonnington Planning Scheme Review Report along with the Community Engagement Report was submitted to the Minister for Planning in December 2022.

View the Stonnington Planning Scheme Review Report.

View the Stonnington Planning Scheme Review Community Engagement Report or Brochure.

Community Engagement

Community engagement was a key component that informed the outcomes of the Planning Scheme Review, with community input sought in July-August 2022. This included reaching out to approximately 60,000 residents and businesses across the municipality. Over 200 people shared their feedback through the surveys, completing submissions and providing comments at events, with responses carefully analysed by an independent community engagement consultant (view the report report for more information.

Some core themes that emerged through community feedback included:

a. The rate and scale of development in the Municipality

b. Impacts of new development

c. Strengthening heritage and neighbourhood character protections

d. Increased vegetation and green cover

e. Sustainability and climate emergency response

f. Transport

Findings from the community engagement were considered and used to inform the recommendations of the Planning Scheme Review. Several themes raised by the community have already been addressed in current works, while themes that are not currently being addressed will be considered for future works in the planning scheme review. More information about community feedback, including a report summarising feedback received can be found in the community engagement report.