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Council Election 2020: October’s council election will be held by postal ballot. For information on nominating, voting and more, click here.

Local Avian Influenza Update: Advice and restrictions are currently in place for all Golden Plains Shire bird owners. Click here to stay up-to-date.

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.

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

Amendment C87 Inverleigh Structure Plan

Amendment C80 Inverleigh Flood Study

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 link below for a list of these plans and strategies.

Bannockburn Growth Plan

Teesdale Structure Plan

Northern Settlement Strategy

Strategic Plans and Policies

People working on a white board

Amendments in progressNCHOR

Amendment C87 Inverleigh Structure Plan  

Council has prepared Amendment C87 to implement the Inverleigh Structure Plan into the Golden Plains Planning Scheme. 

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

The Panel has provided its report to Council and a copy is provided here.


Council officers are reviewing the Panel's recommendations and are preparing a report to be considered at the Council Meeting on Monday 21 September 2020.  


Further information on Council's presentation and the expert evidence presented to the Panel can be found below:

Council's Part B submission to the Panel, as well as attachments, are provided below. 

Part B Submission

Part B Attachments A - H

Council's Part A submission and all Expert Witness Reports are provided below. 

Part A Submission

Attachment A - Inverleigh Town Structure Plan, 1996

Attachment B - Inverleigh Structure Plan, 1985

Attachment C - Inverleigh Structure Plan Review, 2005

Attachment D - Regional Growth Plan Background Report, 2012 & Regional Growth Plan, 2013

Attachment E - Letter from Golden Plains Shire Council's CEO to the Minister for Planning regarding Planning Policy Framework Translation

Attachment F - Strategic Bushfire Risk Assessment 

Attachment G - Development Plan DP-048

Please also find the Expert Witness Reports below

Amendment C87gpla Expert Witness Report - P Walton (XWB Consulting) for Golden Plains Shire Council

Amendment C87gpla Addendum to Expert Witness Report - P Walton (XWB Consulting for Golden Plains Shire Council)

Amendment C87gpla Expert Witness Report - R Milner (Kinetica) for Tract Consultants

Amendment C87gpla Expert Witness Report - A Clarke (Matrix) for MinterEllison

Amendment C87gpla Expert Witness Report - L Prossor (CardnoTGM) for MinterEllison

Amendment C87gpla Expert Witness Report - C Farrar (St.Quentin) for MinterEllison

Amendment C87gpla Expert Witness Report - K Steel (South Coast Bushfire Consultants)

Amendment C87gpla Expert Witness Report - M Lee (Deep End Services)

Should you have any issues viewing the above documentation, please contact Council's Strategic Planning Department on 5220 7111.  

The amendment documents are available below:

Amendment C87 proposed changes to the Golden Plains Planning Scheme.

Explanatory Report

Instruction Sheet

The process and timing for Amendment C87 is as follows:

  • Authorisation to prepare Amendment C87 received from DELWP
  • Amendment lodged with DELWP for exhibition
  • Exhibition of the Amendment occurred from 16th August 2019 with the Notice of Planning Scheme Amendment mailed to landowners in Inverleigh and published in the Geelong Advertiser on 17th August 2019. 
  • Submissions received until 16th October 2019 
  • Exhibition period closed on 16th October 2019
  • Council report with submissions presented to Councillors for consideration on 26 November 2019
  • Planning Panel requested for appointment on 28 November 2019
  • Directions Hearing occurred on 16 January 2020
  • Secondary Directions Hearing occured on 11 June 2020
  • Panel Hearing occured via Zoom on 13 - 20 June 2020
  • Council report to present the findings of the Panels recommendations for consideration to occur mid-late 2020
  • Council decides if it wishes to adopt the Amendment, abandon the Amendment or make changes to the Amendment. It is important to note that typically Council would adopt the Amendment as recommended by the Panel. If Council wishes to make changes which do not align with the Panel recommendations then considerable justification is required to be reported to DELWP (Minister for Planning)  
  • Submit the Amendment to Minister for Planning for approval (dependent on Council decision)

Background and informaton related to Amendment C87 Inverleigh Structure Plan:


At its meeting on 26 March, 2019 Council resolved to adopt the 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 Structure Plan document presents this as dialogue to accompany the Framework Plan.

The following timeline outlines the various stages of the Inverleigh Structure Plan project to date:

Structure Plan Timeline 2.jpg

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).

Will the school and kindergarten be able to cope with the growth?

Discussions were held with the Primary School and kindergarten in the early stages of preparing the Inverleigh Structure Plan and updated demographic and growth figures have continued to be provided as they have become available.  The Inverleigh Structure Plan 2019 takes into account the discussions and advice from these agencies and provides scope and alignment with their strategic directions.  

If additional land is required for educational purposes into the future, it is noted that the School Woodlot on McCallum Road is owned by the Department of Education and could provide an additional site for future needs. 

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. 

What if I support changing the minimum lot size?

You may wish to consider lodging a submission in support of the amendment.

What were the results of the survey undertaken at the start of the Structure Plan process for Inverleigh and how are they included in the Structure Plan?

The link to the survey results is provided here.  A summary of the results is provided in Section 4 of the Inverleigh Structure Plan 2019.

The results of the survey, as well as feedback and comments provided in the workshops and listening posts are included in the range of considerations which form the basis for strategic planning directions.  Other considerations include census figures, growth projections, local and state policies, constraints, infrastructure capacity and advice from referral authorities and relevant agencies.

Why does the Inverleigh Structure Plan 2019 still refer to the draft Inverleigh Streetscape Masterplan?

The Inverleigh Structure Plan 2019 was adopted by Council in March 2019 prior to Council's decision in May 2019 to set aside the Draft Streetscape Masterplan for review in the future.

The intention had been to align preparation of the Inverleigh Streetscape Masterplan and the Inverleigh Structure Plan, however given the change in approach and the current status of the Draft Streetscape Masterplan, it will be recommended that all reference to the Streetscape Plan be removed from the Inverleigh Structure Plan 2019. 

Information Regarding the Panel Hearing Process

Planning panels allows the public to participate in the planning and environmental decision making process.

They independently assess planning proposals by considering submissions, conducting hearings and preparing reports.

Planning panels provide advice and make recommendations. The final decision is made by the appropriate statutory bodies, or the Minister.

Planning panels are established either under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 or the Environment Effects Act 1978.

Planning panels are administered by Planning Panels Victoria, located within the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

A comprehensive list of guides produced by Planning Panels Victoria on their processes and hearings can be found here

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

What Happens Next

Council resolved to request the Minister for Planning to appoint a Planning Panel to review the submissions received to Amendment C87gpla. The Panel will provide a report with the recommendations to Council and is scheduled for 24 March - 2 April 2020. 

Officers from the Strategic Planning team can be contacted on 5220 7111 to discuss the details of the Amendment. 

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 

A current list of planning projects are provided below. 

Current Projects

Bannockburn Growth Plan


What is the Bannockburn Growth Plan?

The Bannockburn Growth Plan (Growth Plan) will guide the sustainable growth of Bannockburn to the year 2050. The 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. The Growth Plan will set out how the town is likely to change in the future. This will provide certainty to the local community about what changes to expect in Bannockburn in the next 30 years. 

Who is preparing the Bannockburn Growth Plan?

The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) is preparing the Growth Plan with Golden Plains Shire Council (Council). The VPA is a Victorian government body that undertakes strategic planning and coordinates infrastructure for the future growth and transformation of Victoria’s cities and regions. The VPA and Council will work closely with other state government agencies and the community to plan for Bannockburn’s vibrant future.

Why is the Bannockburn Growth Plan required?

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 Growth Plan will identify the most appropriate land for houses and ensure the infrastructure is provided to support these new homes. Bannnockburn 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. 

Engagement Update

In March of this year, we asked what you want you want for the future of Bannockburn. 

The VPA sent out a survey about the key issues and oppportunities for the future of your town.

Find out more on what you had to say on the future of your town in the VPA's Bannockburn Growth Plan Key Issues and Opportunities Community Engagement Summary.

Your feedback will help shape the Bannockburn Growth Plan, to guide how Bannockburn is likely to change up until 2050.

Find out more about planning for Bannockburn's future at the Victorian Planning Authority website

For more information, please contact:



Emily Killin 

Senior Strategic Planner

Tel: 03 9651 9681


Laura Wilks 

Strategic Planning Team Leaders

Tel: 03 5220 7111


Teesdale Structure Plan

Golden Plains Shire Council is working towards the preparation of a new Structure Plan for Teesdale and wishes to understand community preferences that may affect its content.

The Structure Plan preparation process will seek to:

  • Review the existing 1997 Teesdale Structure Plan.
  • Guide long term development in Teesdale.  
  • Review commercial development opportunities.
  • Review the need for new community and development infrastructure, where not already considered in existing Council Strategies.

The Structure Plan was endorsed by Council on April 28, 2020. The adopted Teesdale Structure Plan 2020 can be viewed below: 

Teesdale Structure Plan 2020

The background report to help inform the development of the Structure Plan is available here.

Council will now commence the preparation of a Planning Scheme Amendment to implement the Teesdale Structure Plan into the Golden Plains Planning Scheme. Further community consultation will be conducted through a formal exhibition process of the Amendment. Details of upcoming opportunities for the Teesdale community to comment on the Structure Plan will be advertised to residents and landowners in the coming months. 

Initial consultation was completed in late 2019. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback or who participated in one of our drop in sessions. There was high levels of engagement from the Teesdale community, with over 160 surveys received. The Teesdale Structure Plan Community Engagement Report is available here. A full version of the infographic below can also be found here.

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

Survey opened/mail out/conversation posts held.  Past/Completed
Survey Closed Past/Completed
Structure Plan Completed Early 2020
Planning Scheme Amendment to implement the Structure Plan commences (subject to Council decision). Early 2020
Community engagement on Structure Plan/Planning Scheme Amendment Mid 2020*
Independent Planning Panel Hearing for Planning Scheme Amendment held. In the event that submissions to the Amendment are received which cannot be resolved, the Hearing will provide a forum where submitters to the Amendment can present their concerns, which will be deliverated by a Planning Panel appointed by the Minister for Planning.  Late 2020*
Receipt of Panels report with recommendations on the final form of the Amendment (subject to the appointment of a Panel) Late 2020*
Amendment Approved (subject to Council/State Government decision) Early 2021*

*Timeframes for these events may be impacted upon by the COVID-19 Panedemic. 

Please contact the Strategic Planning Department on 5220 7111 if you wish to discuss this project in more detail.

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.

Structure Plans

Bannockburn Urban Design Framework

Bannockburn Urban Design Framework.


​Batesford Structure Plan

Batesford Structure Plan

Gheringhap Structure Plan

Gheringhap Structure Plan (Adopted December 2012)​

Inverleigh, Meredith, Lethbridge and Napoleons Structure Plans

Inverleigh Structure Plan (2005)

Meredith Structure Plan

Lethbridge Structure Plan

Napoleons Structure Plan

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

Shelford Structure Plan 

Smythesdale Urban Design Framework

Smythesdale Urban Design Framework

Other Strategic Publications

Inverleigh Flood Study

Heritage Study Volume 1

Heritage Study Volume 2

Other useful resources and links

Fees & Application Form

Planning Scheme Amendment Fees  20/21

Planning Scheme Amendment Application Form



More Information

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Page Last Updated:

Tuesday, 15 September 2020 - 3:30pm


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.