Review of Structure Planning Guidelines

The current Precinct Structure Planning Guidelines (2009) provide guidance on the integrated planning of new urban areas in greenfield locations. You can read more about the current PSP Guidelines here.

Why review the Guidelines?

Action 20 of the Plan Melbourne 2017-2050: 5-Year Implementation Plan requires the Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to “update the Precinct Structure Planning Guidelines to incorporate learnings from previous Precinct Structure Plans (PSPs) in growth areas, and to align with Plan Melbourne and extend their application to urban renewal areas and regional areas. This will include undertaking an independent assessment of the outcomes of the existing PSPs in consultation with growth area councils, communities and the development industry”.

Other stakeholders identified to be engaged as implementation partners in the review include: the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR); the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS); the Department of Education and Training (DET); and Councils.

Previous engagement activities

In December 2017 and January 2018, the VPA held six workshops with developers, planning consultants and council planners to provide some input into the challenges and opportunities for greenfield, urban renewal and regional development. This included three regional workshops held in Moe, Bendigo and Geelong. A further two workshops were held in May 2018 with state agencies and service providers to explore ways the structure planning process can support planning and delivery of infrastructure and services.

Some of the feedback heard in these workshops suggested for the review to provide:

  • Clearer understanding of the opportunities for agencies and organisations to influence outcomes and provide input.
  • Consideration of how councils and other agencies might implement the plan post-approval
  • More support for the planning and delivery of infrastructure
  • Better coordination of state government to ensure a “whole of government” approach to planning

The VPA will provide further opportunity for state and local agencies and other industry representatives to provide feedback to the structure guidelines once drafted.

Project Information

Currently, the 2009 Precinct Structure Planning Guidelines applies solely to greenfield development within Melbourne’s metropolitan area. Since 2009, the VPA’s remit has been expanded to include urban renewal and regional areas.

Additionally, to better implement Plan Melbourne 2017 – 2050, Action 20 of the Plan Melbourne 2017-2050: 5-year Implementation Plan states the following:

Action 20 – Precinct Structure Planning Guidelines

Update the Precinct Structure Planning Guidelines to incorporate learnings from previous Precinct Structure Plans (PSPs) in growth areas, and to align with Plan Melbourne and extend their application to urban renewal areas and regional areas.

This will include undertaking an independent assessment of the outcomes of the existing PSPs in consultation with growth area councils, communities and the development industry.

Key Plan Melbourne elements for incorporation in PSP guidelines are:

  • creating 20-minute neighbourhoods
  • applying the residential zones and Mixed Use Zone to encourage a diversity of lot sizes and housing types in the short and long term
  • providing for residential densities of 25 or more dwellings per hectare close to activity centres and adjacent to train stations and high-quality public transport in growth areas
  • providing for a greater diversity of employment uses, including small businesses
  • promoting walking and cycling in the design of new suburbs, particularly to schools
  • planning for health and/or education precincts
  • facilitating future renewable and low-emission energy-generation technologies
  • greening in both the public and private realm, focusing on increasing vegetation on properties, transport corridors and public lands
  • considering options for creating space for not-for-profit organisations in activity centres and shared space in community centres
  • applying planning provisions in growth area PSPs and settlement planning in peri-urban areas to best manage natural hazards
  • providing for waste and resource recovery infrastructure in line with the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan.

The review of the VPA’s Structure Planning Guidelines will demonstrate state government’s commitment to sustainably delivering population and economic growth within Melbourne and the regions.

The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) and the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) have been identified as the lead agencies for delivering the update.

Action 20 of the Plan Melbourne Implementation Plan identifies the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR); the Department of Education and Training (DET); the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS); and Councils as implementation partners.

We are also currently engaging with local government agencies and industry planning professionals and developers to assist us with developing guidelines that are fit-for-purpose.

The purpose of the review is to establish a framework for the development of Precinct Structure Plans, setting a high standard for strategic planning of greenfield, urban renewal and regional areas.

The update to the structure planning guidelines is intended to assist in the delivery of structure plans that efficiently and effectively facilitates growth and delivers wider economic, social and environmental objectives.

This will include updating the guidelines to:

  • Incorporate lessons from previous structure plans within the growth areas and development within the established suburbs and regions.
  • Provide guidance to the preparation of urban renewal and regional structure plans; and
  • Align with current state government policy, particularly Plan Melbourne 2017-2050.