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Strategic planning

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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.

Amendments In Progress

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

Amendment C92 Teesdale Structure Plan

Council has prepared Amendment C92 to implement the Teesdale Structure Plan within the Golden Plains Planning Scheme. 

A Planning Panel for C92 occured on June 10 and 11, 2021. The Planning Panels report is expected to be provided on or before July 23, 2021. Council must make the report public within 28 days of reciept of the report. 

The Amendment documents (updates to the Golden Plains Planning Scheme) can be downloaded below.

Supporting documents: 

An outline of the structure plan/amendment process and indicative timeframe for events is provided below. 

Should you have any questions regarding Amendment C92 or the Teesdale Structure Plan, please contact Geoff Alexander, Strategic Planner for Golden Plains Shire Council on 5220 7166.

Survey opened/mail out/conversation posts held.  Past/Completed
Survey Closed Past/Completed
Structure Plan Completed Past/Completed
Planning Scheme Amendment to implement the Structure Plan commences. Past/Completed
Community engagement on Structure Plan/Planning Scheme Amendment Past/Completed
Council meeting to consider submissions Past/Completed

Planning Panel Directions Hearing.


Independent Planning Panel Hearing for Planning Scheme Amendment held.

A forum where submitters to the Amendment can present their concerns in front of a Planning Panel appointed by the Minister for Planning. 



Receipt of Panels report with recommendations on the final form of the Amendment

Expected by July 23, 2021.

Council considers the recommendations of the Panels Report at its ordinary meeting.

TBD either: 

August 24, 2021


September 28, 2021

Amendment Approved (subject to Council/State Government decision) Late 2021


Recent Amendments

Amendment C87 Inverleigh Structure Plan

The Minister for Planning has approved Amendment C87gpla to the Golden Plains Planning Scheme.

The Amendment came into operation on the 23rd April 2021, being the date the Notice of Approval was published in the Victoria Government Gazette.

The Amendment implements the recommendations of the Inverleigh Structure Plan (Golden Plains, 2019) by amending Clause 02.03-1 (Settlement) and Clause 11.03-6L (Inverleigh), deletes the Schedule to Clause 32.03-3 Low Density Residential Zone (LDRZ), inserts new Schedule 1 to Clause 32.03-3 LDRZ and includes the Inverleigh Structure Plan (Golden Plains, 2019) as a background document at Clause 72.08.

A copy of the Amendment can be inspected, free of charge, at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website at or by contacting 1800 789 386 and free of charge, during office hours, at Golden Plains Shire Council website; or during office hourse at the offices of the Golden Plains Shire Council, 2 Pope Street, Bannockburn. 

Council prepared Amendment C87gpla  to implement the Inverleigh Structure Plan 2019 into the Golden Plains Planning Scheme. 

The Inverleigh Structure Plan 2019 (Golden Plains Shire) is provided here.

Download the Inverleigh Structure Plan 2019

A Planning Panel Hearing appointed by the Minister for Planning occurred on 13 - 20 July 2020 to review submissions.

The Panel report is provided here.


Background and informaton related to Amendment C87 Inverleigh Structure Plan:


The final Structure Plan brings together the findings and outcomes of open and extended consultation, including surveys, workshops, listening posts, conversations and written submissions.

The Inverleigh Framework Plan is the visual presentation for guiding the future growth and development of Inverleigh.  It will become the compass for rezoning and planning applications. The video above explains how the final plan came together.

Together, the Inverleigh Structure Plan and Framework Plan provide capacity for Inverleigh to sustain its current growth rate with sufficient infrastructure to support this. 

Some of the key points of the Inverleigh Structure Plan are:

  • Retaining the town boundary
  • Removal of the minimum 1 and 2 ha minimum lot sizes in the Low Density Residential Zone (LDRZ) to be consistent with the LDRZ provisions across the shire
  • Inclusion of new flood mapping.
  • Incorporating the findings of the feasibility study of the western edge of town for residential growth
  • Expansion of the township (as LDRZ) in response to the closure of the broiler farm
  • Responding to the Strategic Bushfire Assessment undertaken for the town

Embedded in the plans are the valued character elements and features of Inverleigh which will endure as the town continues to progress. Things like protection of the natural environment including the rivers, the heritage, the town boundary, the village atmosphere and role as a meeting place.

These features are all expressed in the Plan and accompanying objectives and strategies. They will comprise the formal planning policy to be inserted into the Golden Plains Planning Scheme. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Council has also prepared the following list of Frequently Asked Questions related to the Inverleigh Structure Plan:

How long will the Inverleigh Structure Plan last?     

Council may at some point decide to develop a new structure plan, however this is likely to be at least 15 years into the future. The most likely reason for a new structure plan would be a lack of land supply in Inverleigh.                                                                       

Will the boundaries change?

The boundaries of the Structure Plan (2019) are very similar to the earlier version of the Structure Plan.

The ‘Rural activity and Rural Industry Area’ has been removed due to changes in the Farming Zone whereby many rural activities/industries can now be considered under the existing zoning.

What does 0.4 ha look like?

This is considered a large lot by residential standards, at approximately 9 times the average 450sqm size of lots being subdivided on the fringes of Melbourne. In Bannockburn, the majority of new lots being created are generally between 500 and 700 sqm.  The lot size of 0.4 ha is therefore 6-8 times the size of new lots being created in Bannockburn. Below is a diagram illustrating the current minimum lot size (1ha, yellow) compared with the proposed minimum lot size (0.4ha, red) and the average lot size in Bannockburn (500m2).

Will I be able to subdivide?

If your lot is situated in the Low Density Residential Zone and is one hectare or more, then you may be eligible to apply for a planning permit to subdivide the land, however approval would depend on the detailed assessment of the application.

A number of factors would be taken into account in the assessment, including whether there are any constraints applicable to the land, such as susceptibility to flooding, capability of the soil for effluent disposal, the extent of native vegetation on the site, potential impacts on existing neighbourhood character and whether there are any covenants applicable on the title that may prevent a subdivision.

Note: Covenants are legal conditions that form part of some land titles. In many cases they are applied by the developer when the land is first subdivided. A number of properties in Inverleigh are subject to a restrictive covenant which will be of interest should the minimum lot size in Inverleigh change. More information on restrictive covenants can be found in Council’s fact sheet here.

What will happen in the Future Investigation Area?

The area is identified as a Future Investigation Area based on preliminary work undertaken to determine the feasibility of future residential development. 

There is no single clear residential scenario (considering zoning, layout and density outcome) that has been identified.  The area has therefore been earmarked for future possible residential development.  It will be up to landowners and developers to put forward proposals for a residential zone and development scenario based on further investigation and analysis of the land capability, infrastructure requirements, constraints and land supply amongst other relevant considerations.

A number of outcomes for this area are considered possible. It is plausible that land owners may make applications to rezone the land into the future, but it is also possible that no such applications would be made. Council’s consideration of a proposed rezoning application would take into account factors such as land use constraints, infrastructure, character and residential land supply.

Further information on this area can be found in Attachment K – Development Feasibility Package, in the Inverleigh Structure Plan (Golden Plains Shire, 2019).

What will the impact be on roads and infrastructure?

Inverleigh will continue to remain a small town.

Rezoning of growth precincts will be required to be supported by a traffic impact assessment, identifying any necessary traffic infrastructure upgrades for the developer to pursue.

The Inverleigh Structure Plan identifies future development contributions for infrastructure projects on a precinct basis.

What if there is a fire in the Inverleigh Flora/Fauna reserve?

On days of high bushfire risk, the CFA state that ‘Leaving early is the safest option to protect yourself and your family. Leaving early means leaving the area before a fire starts – not when you can see flames or smell smoke. Leaving early means avoiding panic, being trapped, making the wrong choices and risking serious injury or death. Talk to your family and friends about how you’ll know when to leave and where to go to stay safe.’

Unfortunately bushfires are a fact of life in the South East of Australia, however by building your house to the correct specification (BAL rating), maintaining your property to a high standard within the Fire Danger Period and preparing and activating a bushfire plan, there is a reduced risk of Fire impacting you property. 

The Inverleigh Flora and Fauna Reserve, commonly known as the Common, is managed by Parks Victoria. The team from Parks Victoria maintain fuel breaks and are responsible for managing fine fuel loads. 

There is a bushfire management overlay which extends at least 120 metres from the Inverleigh Flora and Fauna Reserve.  All houses must be built to a certain standard within this area.  A comprehensive assessment of the bushfire risks has been undertaken as part of the Inverleigh Structure Plan and the key recommendations, have been included in the implementation requirements of the Inverleigh Structure Plan (Golden Plains Shire, 2019).  See Attachment L, Strategic Bushfire Risk Assessment for Inverleigh. 

Berthon Park Estate

The 2005 Inverleigh Structure Plan identifies this land as Longer Term Growth Area.  It does not identify a minimum lot size for land at 385 Common Road (including Berthon Park Estate).

Rezoning of Berthon Park, by Amendment C075pt1, was approved by the Minister for Planning 15th November 2018.  Amendment C075pt1 rezones part of Portions 26, 27, 28 and 29 of Common Road, Inverleigh from Farming Zone (FZ) to Low Density Residential Zone (LDRZ) and applies the Design and Development Overlay Schedule 5 (DDO5) and Development Plan Overlay Schedule 15 (DPO15).

A Development Plan and Planning Permit P19-008 for a multi-lot subdivision of the site has been approved under the current provisions of the Golden Plains Planning Scheme.  The approved subdivision (P19-008) is not part of Amendment C87.

What if my question isn’t in the FAQ?

You are welcome to call the Strategic Planning Department on 5220 7111.  

The Inverleigh Structure Plan and all relevant attachments can be found below. 

Inverleigh Structure Plan

Attachments A to J Maps and Plans

Attachment K Development Feasability Study

Attachment L Strategic Bushfire Risk Assessment 

Attachment M Townships Clause

Amendment C80 Inverleigh Flood Study

The Amendment has been approved and became part of the Golden Plains Planning Scheme on 05/09/19.

The amendment implemented findings from the Flood Risk Management Study Barwon Rivers at Inverleigh (Water Technology Ptd Ltd, 2018) by providing for more accurate flood mapping in Inverleigh. The location and extent of the mapping for the Land Subject to Inundation Overlay (LSIO) and the Floodway Overlay (FO) were varied, as summarised below.

  • The Land Subject to Inundation Overlay (LSIO) and the Floodway Overlay (FO) were applied to eighty five additional properties not previously affected by the Overlays.
  • Forty five properties that were partially affected by the LSIO and FO were subject to an increase in the extent of the Overlays over the property. 
  • In a small number of areas the extent of the LSIO and FO mapping was reduced.
  • In the case of some properties areas previously affected by LSIO mapping was replaced with FO mapping and vice versa.

In addition the LSIO1 and FO1 Schedules were applied in Inverleigh (replacing the existing LSIO and FO Schedules). This had the effect of varying the Planning Permit exemptions under these Overlays.  

Minor policy neutral changes also came inte effect under Clause 22.11 (Floodplain Management).

The Golden Plains Planning Scheme and associated maps now include content updated through Amendment C80. 

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

Council is developing a new Structure Plan for Smythesdale.


Golden Plains Shire Council has commenced the preparation of a new Structure Plan for Smythesdale, providing direction for future growth and development in the town.

The new Smythesdale Structure Plan will comprehensively address factors influencing Smythesdale including bushfire risk, the natural environment, land supply and projections for residential and commercial growth. Open space, recreation and community infrastructure are also addressed, where not already considered by existing Council strategies.


Currently there is an Urban Design Framework for Smythesdale that was created in 2006. Most of the land designations within this Framework have been rezoned, developed or are soon to be activated which means a new plan is needed to guide decision-making on growth matters in Smythesdale for the next 25 years.

A Structure Plan is developed to provide a framework for new residential and commercial land and may propose changes to planning controls affecting land, and may identify the need for new projects and infrastructure to meet requirements for the future.

The Smythesdale Structure Plan builds upon the planning work of the Northern Settlement Strategy, which was adopted by Council in 2019. The Plan is expected to be presented to Council in late 2021.


Council wants to hear from local Smythesdale and Scarsdale residents about how they want Smythesdale to develop into the future.

The Smythesdale Structure Plan Survey is open from Thursday 8 July to Thursday 12 August. Complete the survey at or pick up a copy of the survey at Council’s Customer Service Centre, The Well, 19 Heales Street, Smythesdale. Completed paper surveys may be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to: Golden Plains Shire Council, PO Box 111, Bannockburn, VIC, 3331, marked ‘Attention: Smythesdale Structure Plan’.

The survey will also be sent by mail to all residents of Smythesdale and Scarsdale in mid-July.

Council planning staff will hold engagement sessions, welcoming Smythesdale and Scarsdale residents to stop by and talk about the Smythesdale Structure Plan. Visit a drop-in session at The Well, 19 Heales Street, Smythesdale from 4 to 6pm on Thursday 15 July or from 10am to 12pm on Saturday 31 July.

An additional online engagement session has been scheduled for Thursday 22 July from 4 to 6pm. Please see the meeting details below:

Meeting ID: 835 6474 7839
Passcode: 291100

Council’s Strategic Planner, Alicia te Wierik is also available to speak directly with residents about the Smythesdale Structure Plan; call 5220 7111.

Download Background Information Presentation


Key Project Phases

1. Background Report: discovery phase, scenario planning, community engagement    (current phase - due for completion October 2021)
2. Draft Structure Plan and Planning Scheme amendment, community engagement      (end 2021)

3. Formal Planning Scheme Amendment with formal public exhibition process               (2022)


Bannockburn Growth Plan


The Bannockburn Growth Plan (Growth Plan) will guide the sustainable growth of Bannockburn to the year 2050. The Bannockburn Growth Plan will identify where and when future housing may be developed. It will also identify what infrastructure is needed to support the growing community, such as roads and community facilities, and land for employment and retail.


Bannockburn is one of the fastest growing towns in regional Victoria. The population is expected to reach more than 13,000 people by 2036, but there’s a shortage of land available to develop for new houses. The Bannockburn Growth Plan will identify land for houses and ensure the infrastructure is provided to support these new homes.

Bannockburn is the largest town in Golden Plains Shire. The Victorian Government and Council see it as an ideal place to support Golden Plains’ growing population, thanks to its existing infrastructure and amenity.


The Bannockburn Growth Plan and subsequent priority Precinct Structure Plan has been identified as a project on the VPA’s Fast Track Program. The project will use the VPA Projects Standing Advisory Committee to consider unresolved matters and provide advice to the Minister and the VPA prior to VPA finalising the amendment for the Minister for Planning’s consideration.


In March 2020, the Victorian Planning Authority and Golden Plains Shire Council asked the Bannockburn community what their priorities were for the future of their town. The community outlined their priorities, including improvements to shopping facilities, transport, recreational facilities and green spaces. 

In October and November 2020, the Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) publicly consulted on the proposed Bannockburn Growth Plan and associated draft planning scheme Amendment.


A Public Consultation Report has been prepared to summarise the feedback heard from the community throughout this process. You can read the report by clicking here.

The VPA collected 36 comments and/or questions across its public events, with 13 people contacting the team over the phone and a further 11 people attending the online session. Golden Plains Shire Council also received 5 calls from interested parties in the engagement period. The key topics of interest were; the extent of the growth boundary, transport and traffic, expansion of the industrial area, bushfire risk, water management and conservation, and process and timing.

39 written submissions were received to the draft Amendment, which the VPA has acknowledged and is working to resolve where possible.


As part of the VPA – Fast-Track Program, the Bannockburn Growth Plan will be subject to the VPA Projects Standing Advisory Committee (VPA SAC). The VPA SAC has been established to provide independent advice on draft planning scheme amendments to the VPA and the Minister for Planning.

Updates on this process as it progresses will be available online at

For more information, please contact:


Emily Killin 

Senior Strategic Planner

Tel: 03 9651 9681

[email protected]


Laura Wilks 

Coordinator Strategic Planning

Tel: 03 5220 7111

[email protected]

Recent Projects

Northern Settlement Strategy

Council adopted Amendment C85 on 22 October 2019. The Amendment incorporated key elements of the Northern Settlement Strategy (NSS) into the Golden Plains Planning Scheme. 

The NSS is a high level strategic framework which directs future growth in the north of the Shire.

The NSS:

  • Accommodates an additional 2,000 people in the north of the Shire by 2030
  • Supports infill development in Smythesdale
  • Identifies the need for a new Structure Plan for Haddon
  • Supports the investigation of land for greenfield development within close proximity to the City of Ballarat
  • Provides guiding principles for how development should be considered
  • Provides a framework for how growth should be accommodated

The Northern Settlement Strategy is available here

The Background and Issues Report is available below in two parts

The Background and Issues Report is supported by a number of studies including

Bannockburn Transport Strategy

Golden Plains Shire Council, with support from the Victorian Planning Authority, have developed a Transport Strategy to provide a 20 year traffic, car parking, pedestrian, cycling and public transport strategy for the Bannockburn township. 

The purpose of the Strategy is to identify future transport usage and requirements and consequential infrastructure requirements. This has arisen due to Bannockburn's population growth and the effect from: future residential development; proposed commercial development; the Bannockburn Heart Project; new schools; the Emergency Management Precinct and increased traffic. 

The Strategy outlines the required network upgrades to support Bannockburn's population for the next 15-20 years. 

The Strategy was endorsed by Council on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. The Strategy is available below, together with other reports used to inform the Strategy. 

Bannockburn Transport Strategy

Existing Conditions and Opportunities Report

Traffic Modelling Report

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 Urban Design Framework

Batesford Structure Plan

Gheringhap Structure Plan

Inverleigh, 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

Other useful resources and links

Fees & Application Form

Planning Scheme Amendment Fees  21/22

Planning Scheme Amendment Application Form



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Page Last Updated:

Tuesday, 20 July 2021 - 5:39pm


Council acknowledges the traditional Wadawurrung owners of this land. Council pays its respects to Wadawurrung Elders both past and present and extends that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People who are part of Golden Plains Shire.