Planning Scheme Amendments

What is a Planning Scheme?

A planning scheme is a statutory document which sets out how land can be used and developed within our municipality. It is a living document that grows and adapts with the changing needs of the community.

Planning Schemes in Victoria all have the same structure and include:

  • policies and strategic directions
  • maps which show the zones and overlays that affect the land
  • an ordinance which sets outs the written requirements
  • incorporated documents

Click here to view the Horsham Planning Scheme. For more information on how to understand the Planning Scheme and its structure, visit the Understanding Planning Page.

Planning Scheme Amendments - what are they?

Changes to the scheme are known as amendments. Sometimes the Horsham Planning Scheme needs to be changed to reflect new circumstances, achieve a desirable planning outcome or support a new policy direction. 

The process for an amendment is set out in the Planning and Environment Act (1987). An amendment may involve a change to a planning scheme map (such as a rezoning), a change to the written part of the scheme (such as local policies), or both. Such changes are often informed by a new strategy or land use plan. 

For more information about amendments and the steps involved visit: Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning.

How much does it cost for a planning scheme amendment?

Fees are set by the State Government and levied at different stages of the amendment process.

Privately requested amendments

If you wish to change the zone to your land, you need to request a rezoning from Council. Rezoning must follow a particular process and has to be approved by the Minister for Planning. Rezoning is treated as an amendment to the Horsham Planning Scheme.

The first step in contemplating a rezoning to your property is to talk to the Strategic Planning Team. If you wish the rezone your land, you will be required to justify why an Amendment to the Planning Scheme should occur.

Privately requested amendments include a fee to the applicant and, if supported by Council, usually take one to two years to be finalised.

Please refer to our Privately Initiated Planning Scheme Amendment Policy(PDF, 248KB) for details. 

Other documents to refer to:



Lodging a submission to an amendment

As part of the amendment process, the community is consulted on proposed planning scheme amendments. Anyone can lodge a submission about an amendment.

A submission may support the amendment, oppose the amendment, or suggest changes to the amendment.

Letters are sent to owners and occupiers of affected properties, notifying them of the exhibition period and advising as to where the exhibited amendment material can be viewed. This letter will also outline that a submission to Council can be made and the closing date for submissions.

Notices of the amendment are also published in local newspapers, in the Government Gazette, on Council’s website and on Council’s social media pages.

If you lodge a submission to Council, you will have the opportunity to present your views to a panel (if one is appointed to consider submissions).


Amendment process


Approved by Council to prepare a planning scheme amendment, the preparation of the amendment by Council officers and review of the amendment by DELWP.


Council formally seeks consent from the Minister for Planning to prepare and exhibit the planning scheme amendment. The Minister may support the amendment request, make it subject to conditions, or refuse the amendment request.


The planning scheme amendment is formally exhibited for a minimum of one month. A letter is sent to relevant Ministers, public authorities and owners and occupiers of land that may be affected by the amendment to inform them of the amendment. Notices are placed in the local newspaper and Government Gazette.

Council officers can answer any queries about the amendment and can meet with any affected parties.

Anyone has the opportunity to comment and can make a submission to the amendment, either in support or objecting the amendment.


Submissions are considered by Council. A letter is sent to submitters and affected land owners and occupiers to advise the Council Meeting date.

Submitters can take this opportunity to address Council if they would like to. Council considers the amendment and can refer it to an Independent Panel, or Council can adopt, change, or abandon the amendment without independent review.

Planning Panel

A Planning Panel provides an independent assessment of the amendment and submissions. the Panel will make recommendations in a report to Council, to assist the Council and the Minister for Planning to make a final decision about the amendment.


The Minister for Planning makes a decision to approve the planning scheme amendment. A letter is sent to submitters and affected land owners and occupiers to advise of the outcome of the process. Notices are placed in the local newspaper and Government Gazette.

Planning scheme amendments and privacy

Horsham Rural City Council collects information from organisations and individuals during an amendment process through submissions made to an amendment. Submissions may be hand written, electronic (both written and audio-visual) and often contain images, maps and plans. Submissions frequently contain personal information which at times may be sensitive for commercial, health or other reasons.

Natural justice and transparency are important parts of the amendment process. Under section 21(2) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic), Council must make all submissions to an amendment available to view by any person at its offices for a period of two months after the amendment is gazetted or lapses. This includes all personal names, telephone and address details, unless specifically requested to be deleted prior to the submission being made publicly available.

Submissions are used by Council when assessing the amendment and summaries of your submission are included in any Council report that considers the amendment following the close of exhibition. Your submission will also be used and disclosed in the public process of a Panel Hearing if one is required. Any submission forwarded to Planning Panels Victoria will be managed with in accordance with their privacy policy.

If you do not provide your name and address, the Council will not be able to consider your submission.

Use of your personal information

In accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and Health Records Act 2001 (Vic), the personal information submitted by you is being collected by Horsham Rural City Council for the submission process and it will not be disclosed to any other external party without your consent, except as a requirement of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic). This includes disclosing your personal information upon request (name and phone number only) to any person during the amendment process.

If you do not provide your name and address Council will not be able to consider your submission.

You can gain access to the personal information you have provided to Horsham Rural City Council and if you wish to alter it, please contact Strategic Planning on (03) 5382 9777.

Previous planning scheme amendments

A list of all past planning scheme amendments to the Horsham Planning Scheme is available from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.




Current planning scheme amendments will appear below: