The Planning Scheme

Overview

Overview 

Planning schemes are legal documents that set out policies and provisions for the use, development and protection of land.

Planning schemes refer to a large range of things, including limits for how tall a building can be, as well as ensuring orderly and sustainable use of land.

Every local government municipality in Victoria has a planning scheme to govern the use, development and protection of its land, underpinned by current and future needs. These vary from one municipality to another. They are prepared by a local Council or the Minister for Planning and then approved by the Minister.

You can read more about planning schemes on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.

The Horsham Planning Scheme covers land in the Horsham Rural City Council municipality. It contains state and local planning policies, zones and overlays and other provisions that affect how land can be used and developed.

Zones and Overlays

Both zones and overlays affect how land can be used and developed.

Zones

The planning scheme zones land for particular uses, for example, residential, industrial, business or other. The zones are listed in the planning scheme and each zone has a purpose and set of requirements. A zone may also specify information that must be submitted with a planning permit application. The zone also contains information relating to land uses, subdivision of land, construction of new buildings and other changes to the land.

A zone sets out land use controls in three sections:

  • Section 1: Land uses that do not require a planning permit

  • Section 2: Land uses that require a planning permit

  • Section 3: Prohibited uses

Some uses are not allowed on land in a zone because they may conflict with other uses; for example, industry is prohibited in the General Residential Zone.

Overlays

The planning scheme map may show that a piece of land has an overlay as well as a zone affecting it. Not all land has an overlay and some land may be affected by more than one overlay.

If an overlay applies, the land will have some special feature such as a heritage building, significant vegetation or flood risk. The overlay information will indicate if a planning permit is required for the construction of a building or other changes to the land. An overlay may specify information that must be submitted with an application for a planning permit.

A property report can identify what zones and overlays affect your property, which can be obtained from Planning Maps online.