Strategic Planning Projects

Council's Strategic Planning area is responsible for:

  • The consideration and assessment of amendments to the Golden Plains Planning Scheme.
  • The development of structure plans and urban design frameworks for various towns within the Shire.
  • The development of strategic plans and policies such as the rural land use strategy or heritage study.

Planning Scheme Amendments

Amendments to the scheme can range from the rezoning of a parcel of land to the incorporation of a new structure plan or policy and may be requested by Council, a landowner or a statutory authority.

Please select from the drop down links below to view details regarding current amendments to the Golden Plains Planning Scheme. 

Amendments in Progress
Planning Scheme Amendment GC228

The Barwon Region Water Corporation (Barwon Water) has prepared Amendment GC228 to the Colac Otway, Greater Geelong, Golden Plains, Surf Coast and Queenscliffe Planning Schemes.

The proposed amendment amends the Colac Otway, Greater Geelong, Golden Plains, Surf Coast and Queenscliffe Planning Schemes to rezone a number of Barwon Water owned and managed properties to Public Use Zone 1 - Service and Utility (PUZ1) to reflect the ownership and purpose of the land and to delete a redundant Public Acquisition Overlay from land already acquired by Barwon Water in Ocean Grove.

You may inspect the amendment, any documents that support the amendment and the explanatory report about the amendment, free of charge, at the following locations:

  • During office hours, at the office of the planning authority Barwon Region Water Corporation 57-67 Ryrie Street, Geelong by contacting Cat McConkey on 0427 667 455 to arrange a time to view the amendment documentation; or
  • during office hours at the following places and on the following websites:


Golden Plains Shire Council

2 Pope Street

Bannockburn VIC 3331


Any person who may be affected by the amendment may make a submission to the planning authority about the amendment. Submissions must be made in writing giving the submitter’s name and contact address, clearly stating the grounds on which the amendment is supported or opposed and indicating what changes (if any) the submitter wishes to make.

Name and contact details of submitters are required for the planning authority to consider submissions and to notify such persons of any public hearing held to consider submissions. The closing date for submissions is 2 May 2024. A submission must be clearly marked Amendment GC228 (directed to the Strategic Projects Team) and sent to the Barwon Region Water Corporation 57-67 Ryrie Street, Geelong or via email to [email protected] .

The planning authority must make a copy of every submission available at its office for any person to inspect free of charge for two months after the amendment comes into operation or lapses.

GC228 Explanatory Report Exhibition

GC228 Instruction Sheet Exhibition

GC228 Strategic Assessment Guidelines

Golden Plains GC228 001znMaps24_28 Exhibition

Golden Plains GC228 002znMap17 Exhibition


Seamus Butcher

GM Planning, Delivery & Environment

Barwon Region Water Corporation

Recent Amendments

Strategic Plans and Policies

Golden Plains Shire is responsible for various plans and strategies which help guide and shape land use planning and development in the municipality. Please click on the drop down link below for a list of these plans and strategies.

Current Projects
Smythesdale Structure Plan

Preparation of a new Structure Plan for Smythesdale is on hold until the shire-wide Growing Places Strategy is completed.  You can read more about the Growing Places Strategy here


In mid-2021, Council consulted with the Smythesdale community about developing a Structure Plan to provide direction for future development in the town. This involved exploring the potential for housing growth.
The consultation identified the need for a stronger emphasis on bushfire risk in future planning considerations. This was also expressed by the Country Fire Authority (CFA).
In 2022, Council completed further work, including a Strategic Bushfire Risk Assessment prepared by an independent consultant.
The Strategic Bushfire Risk Assessment has assessed the level of bushfire risk across the whole of Golden Plains Shire. It has confirmed that, from a future planning perspective, Smythesdale is a higher risk location than other parts of the Shire. This means initial ideas for growth in Smythesdale, as discussed with the community in 2021, are no longer appropriate. Instead, other lower-risk locations should be prioritised for housing growth.


For existing properties in Smythesdale, there is no change to the current planning rules that apply. However, the Strategy Bushfire Risk Assessment has reinforced that Smythesdale has a high bushfire risk – one that the community, fire authorities, land managers and Council must continue to manage through a range of programs and actions.
The Structure Plan process provides the opportunity to consider the opportunities for the town including building out existing zoned land, some incremental growth to harden the edges, tourism development and a future plan which is mindful of bushfire and enhances the town’s bushfire resilience.


We are consulting with everyone in the Golden Plains Shire community on the future planning for the entire shire.  This includes Smythesdale and its future, but we will also be coming back to talk specifically about the detailed planning for Smythesdale after we complete the Growing Places Strategy.      
The Growing Places Strategy is expected to be completed in early 2024.  Findings from this project will inform key directions for the Smythesdale Structure Plan.  
Council looks forward to continuing progress on the Smythesdale Structure Plan in 2024.


Key Project Phases

1.    Review Background Report (2024)
2.    Community Engagement, Draft Structure Plan (mid 2024)
3.    Planning Scheme Amendment with formal public exhibition process (2024-25)

Teesdale Flood Study

Council has commissioned a flood study for Teesdale in order to update the existing flood mapping for Native Hut Creek and a key tributary.

The flood study will:

  • Provide a more accurate picture of flood mapping in relation to Native Hut Creek and a key tributary. This may be used for future urban planning to ensure development is appropriate for the risk, and to inform emergency management organisations of areas at risk in a flood event.
  • Describe options for a flood warning system for the town.
  • Provide floor level surveys.
  • Identify potential flood mitigation options for Aboriginal Cultural Heritage values around Native Hut Creek, if any are found.

Thankyou to all those who participated in the community consultation sessions in early August, and especially those who provided valuable historic data and evidence. This is a benefit to the study.

The initial technical report has been complied by the consultants, with ongoing verification and additional modelling being undertaken currently. 

During consultation, several residents highlighted issues with urban flooding, and Council is proceeding with a supplementary investigation into this. The reporting of the urban flooding analysis will be separate from the riverine flooding which is the focus of the flood study.

The flood study findings have been completed and were adopted by Council at the meeting on October 24. A Planning Scheme Amendment has been authorised to be prepared and sent to the Minister for Planning for approval.

The reports for the Teesdale Flood Risk Identification Study can be read here:

Growing Places Strategy

In late 2021, Council commenced work on a project to understand and guide where population growth and development could be supported in the Shire over the next 15 to 25 years. 

The Growing Places Strategy (the GPS) will be a high-level plan that will show generally where growth could be located between now and 2050. It will also include an action plan outlining the work that needs to happen to support this growth. 

The GPS will seek to maximise the benefits of growth and at the same time protect our historic townships, rural enterprises, natural environment and the lifestyle our community loves. 

You can read more about how our broader region is growing, what this means for Golden Plains Shire, and the progress of the GPS on our project webpage. 

To inform the GPS, Council has engaged independent experts to undertake a range of studies. These are listed below and links provided to the completed documents. The others will be added once finalised. 


  • ■ - Completed
  • □ - In process
  • ○ - Request for Quote in process

The information in these reports have been combined into an Informing Document with a draft future growth scenario for testing with the community and local stakeholders, which concluded at the end of July. The results of this consultation will be used for the development of the GPS.

Following finalisation of the GPS, a Planning Scheme Amendment will be undertaken to incorporate it into our Golden Plains Planning Scheme. 

For more information visit 

Recent Projects
Regional Growth Plans
G21 Geelong Region Plan

The G21 Geelong Region Plan is a sustainability plan for the region that looks toward 2050. It identifies and addresses the challenges the region will face in the areas of environment, settlement, land use, community strength and economy as well as the need for change in the way we make things happen.

The plan was developed during 2006/07 and represents the work and opinions of hundreds of people and organisations including G21 Councils, the State Government, peak bodies and environmental, community and business organisations of the region.

G21 is the alliance of a variety of independent organisations with a shared vision for the Geelong region.

Members of the alliance include the municipalities of Colac Otway, Golden Plains, Greater Geelong, Queenscliffe and Surf Coast, the Victorian Government and over 100 community and business organisations committed to securing a bright and sustainable future for the region.

The alliance is not an authority, it is a collaborative voice for the region that provides:

  • A platform for the region to speak with one voice to all levels of government.
  • A forum to discuss ‘big picture’ regional issues across interest groups and municipalities.
  • Efficiency through facilitating multi-agency collaboration and sharing of information and resources.
  • More resources from all levels of government and the private sector through the co-ordination and prioritisation of regional projects, and
  • Alignment of the objectives of major regional organisations with those for the sustainability of the region.

Find out more about the G21 Regional Growth Plan.

Central Highlands Regional Growth Plan

The Central Highlands Regional Growth Plan provides a regional approach to land use planning in the Central Highlands. It covers the municipalities of Ararat, Ballarat, Golden Plains, Hepburn, Moorabool and Pyrenees and identifies opportunities to encourage and accommodate growth and manage change over the next 30 years. 

Find out more about the Central Highlands Regional Growth Plan.

Current Structure Plans
Bannockburn Growth Plan
Batesford Structure Plan
Meredith, Lethbridge and Napoleons Structure Plans
Rokewood, Corindhap & Dereel Urban Design Framework

The Rokewood, Corindhap & Dereel Integrated Urban Design Framework is made up of three key documents, including:

  • A Community Action Plan, including a plan for community facility and service provision for the three towns
  • Town Structure Plans for Rokewood, Corindhap & Dereel that will ultimately be included in the Golden Plains Planning Scheme
  • A Town Place Plan for Dereel that identifies township improvements, complementing the Town Place Plans that already exist for Rokewood & Corindhap

These documents can be accessed via the links provided below:




Rokewood Corindhap Dereel Urban Design Framework

Shelford Structure Plan
Smythesdale Urban Design Framework
Teesdale Structure Plan

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