Our planning scheme

Planning refers to the decisions that affect everyday life and change the environment.

We make most of the planning decisions that affect our region. For example, we decide whether or not to grant a planning permit for a new use or development, and what permit conditions are appropriate.

More about planning permits is available on our website.

Indigo Planning Scheme

A planning scheme is a statutory document that sets out a council's objectives, policies and provisions relating to the use, development, protection and conservation of land in the area to which it applies.

The Indigo Planning Scheme is the instrument under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 which regulates the use and development of land within the shire. The planning scheme specifies that certain types of use or development can only be carried out if a planning permit is granted.  

The purpose of the Indigo Planning Scheme is to provide a clear and consistent framework within which decisions about the use and development of land can be made to express State, regional, local and community expectations and policies.

Land may be used or developed only in accordance with the Indigo Planning Scheme. If the Indigo Planning Scheme allows a particular use of land, it may be developed for that use provided all requirements of the scheme are met.

To ensure compliance with the Indigo Planning Scheme and building policies, we may take action on breaches of these regulations. This may include investigating building works and demolitions conducted without the appropriate planning permits.

A planning scheme may need to be amended for the following reasons:

  • To improve or implement the strategic vision of a Council's scheme
  • To implement new State, regional or local policy
  • To update the scheme
  • To correct mistakes
  • To rezone and/or apply overlays
  • To set aside land for acquisition for a public purpose, or to remove such a reservation when it is no longer needed in the scheme
  • Applications under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 for a combined rezoning and development of a site.

A planning scheme amendment can be initiated by a Council, or a Council at its discretion can respond to a request for an amendment.

Council must obtain consent from the Minister for Planning to prepare and exhibit a planning scheme amendment. The Minister for Planning may also authorise Council to approve an amendment if the amendment is minor.

An amendment does not become part of the planning scheme until it is approved by the Minister and notice is given in the Victorian Government Gazette.