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Planning Scheme Zone Reforms

New Residential Zones

For information on the New Residential Zones for Port Phillip, please go here.

Planning Scheme Zone Reforms

The Minister for Planning has announced reforms to Victoria's zones that may have implications for the owners of commercial, retail, industrial and residential property.

As part of the initial review process the Minister invited the community to make comments and submissions on the proposed reforms.

The submission process closed on 21 September 2012.

The City of Port Phillip made a submission to the review which can be viewed here:

The proposed reforms form part of the recommendations from the Victorian Planning System Ministerial Advisory Committee. The Committee was commissioned in June 2011 to examine all aspects of the system, including possible zone reform.

Significant features of the proposed zone reforms include: 

  •  Three new residential zones to replace existing residential zones
  •  The replacement of the five existing Business zones with two new Commercial zones; and 
  •  Rural zone reforms aimed at attracting and retaining population in rural Victoria. The Minister has stated that the proposed reforms seek to simplify requirements, allow a broader range of activities to be considered and improve the range of zones to better manage growth.

What is changing?

The Minister for Planning has approved changes to Victoria's residential, commercial and industrial zones.

The changes relevant to the City of Port Phillip are listed below

Delete nine existing zones

  • Residential 1 Zone
  • Residential 2 Zone
  • Residential 3 Zone
  • Business 1 Zone
  • Business 2 Zone
  • Business 3 Zone
  • Business 4 Zone
  • Business 5 Zone
  • Priority Development Zone*

    Create five new zones

    • Residential Growth Zone
    • General Residential Zone
    • Neighbourhood Residential Zone
    • Commercial 1 Zone
    • Commercial 2 Zone

    Amend 12 existing zones

    • Low Density Residential Zone
    • Mixed Use Zone
    • Township Zone
    • Rural Living Zone
    • Green Wedge Zone
    • Green Wedge A Zone
    • Rural Conservation Zone
    • Farming Zone
    • Rural Activity Zone
    • Industrial 1 Zone
    • Industrial 2 Zone
    • Industrial 3 Zone

     *The Priority Development Zone will be removed from the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes through a later amendment, in consultation with local government.  

    Residential zones

    The three new residential zones have been finalised by the State government, they are:

    • The Residential Growth Zone
    • The General Residential Zone
    • The Neighbourhood Residential Zone  

    Some of the key changes contained in the new zones are: 

    • setting a mandatory building height of 8 metres in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone
    • setting a default two dwelling maximum in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone 
    • restricting non-residential uses in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone and the General Residential Zone
    • allowing small-scale complementary commercial uses in the Residential Growth Zone.

    Business and Commercial zones

    The five existing business zones are proposed to be consolidated into two new commercial zones: 

    •  Commercial 1 Zone to replace the Business 1 Zone, Business 2 Zone and Business 5 Zone
    • Commercial 2 Zone to replace the Business 3 Zone and Business 4 Zone.

    The new Commercial 1 Zone broadens the range of activities that land can be used for without the need for a planning permit and removes floor area restrictions on retail and commercial uses in metropolitan Melbourne.

    The new Commercial 2 Zone provides more opportunities for office, commercial businesses, restricted retail premises, trade supplies and some limited retail activity. Floor area restrictions for office and some retail uses will be removed in many instances to create new opportunities for office and retail growth.

    When is it Changing

    The reformed zones will be introduced into the Victoria Planning Provisions and planning schemes on 1 July 2013.

    Business zones

    In all cases, land zoned Business 1, Business 2 and Business 5 will translate across to the Commercial 1 Zone. Land zoned Business 3 and Business 4 will translate across to the Commercial 2 Zone. This change will occur on July 1, 2013 and be effective from that date.

    Planning scheme map notation changes will not be initially required as the new commercial zones reference the previous business zones.  This change will be undertaken as a series of state wide Ministerial amendments to local planning schemes. 

    As this is a translation of existing zones to the new zones there will not be a public exhibition period as part of this translation.

    Residential zones

    The new residential zones will be introduced into the Victoria Planning Provisions on 1 July 2013. The Minister has announced that Councils will have discretion to apply the three new residential zones within their municipalities.

    Councils will have 12 months from July 1, 2013 to where to apply the new residential zones and undertake the planning scheme amendment process.

    Council will utilise existing strategic policy, housing strategies and related work in the application of the new residential zones.  

    Council is currently reviewing the new residential zones and preparing an implementation plan.

    Click on the link below for further information regarding the reforms: