Planning scheme amendments

Planning schemes are legal documents that set out how land can be used or developed.

In some cases planning schemes may be amended. The process for making amendments is set out in the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993.

The Act also includes a process for a proposal for development to be considered together with an amendment to the planning scheme. For example, an amendment to the zoning, together with an application for a development that will be allowed under the new zoning.

Requests for amendments or a combined permits and amendments are first made to the council. If the council supports the amendment, it must certify it and place it on public display. Any person may then provide comments to the council.  After the council has considered any comments it must report to the Commission.

If there are comments, the Commission usually holds a hearing. A hearing is a public inquiry which provides an opportunity for the Commission to gain a better understanding about the amendment.

The Commission appoints delegates to assess planning scheme amendments, including holding hearings. Delegates for each assessment are appointed based on their relevant skills, experience and expertise.

After its assessment is finished, the Commission may:

  • approve the draft amendment, or
  • modify the draft amendment, or direct the council to do so
  • direct the council to alter the draft amendment to a substantial degree, or
  • reject the draft amendment.

The amendment, if approved, begins on the date set by the Commission, or 7 days later, if no date is set.

How can I comment?

Planning scheme amendments are placed on public display by the council and advertised (usually also on its website).

Anyone can comment by writing to the council during the advertised period. Later, if there is a hearing, the Commission may ask anyone who made comments to attend the hearing and explain their comments in more detail. There is more information about the hearing process on this website.

For information on all planning scheme amendments assessed by the Commission, and recent decisions, go to

See the following flowcharts for further information on the processes for amendments and combined permits and amendments: