Sometimes a planning scheme may need to be changed to reflect new circumstances. Changes to the scheme are known as amendments and the processes for an amendment are set out in the Planning and Environment Act. Anyone can ask a planning authority to prepare an amendment. An applicant must be able to demonstrate to the planning authority (usually the council) adequate justification as to why an amendment should be prepared.
Council is required in the first instance to obtain authorisation from the Minister for Planning to prepare a scheme amendment once the Council itself is satisfied a scheme amendment is warranted.
The amendment process is generally longer than the planning permit process. Usually, an amendment is placed on exhibition for at least one month. If there are submissions which cannot be resolved by the planning authority, the Minister will appoint an independent panel to consider the submissions if the proposed amendment is to proceed.
When it receives the report from the panel, the planning authority must either adopt or abandon the amendment. An amendment becomes part of the planning scheme when it is approved by the Minister for Planning and notice is given in the Victorian Government Gazette.
For further information contact Council Customer Service.