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Proponent Requested Planning Scheme Amendment Policy

Version 1.0

Purpose and Intent

The purpose of this policy is to provide a transparent and consistent approach to considering proponent requested planning scheme amendments. The policy will:

  • Ensure that Council can meet its obligation to resource strategic planning activities that respond to the highest community priorities; the Council Plan; legislative obligations; and reform of the planning scheme, and
  • Enable Council to partner with industry to facilitate proponent requested planning scheme amendments that are well considered and prepared; have strategic merit; are fully proponent funded; and demonstrate net community benefit.


This policy applies to requests made by proponents (i.e. landowners or their representatives) for the Council to initiate planning scheme amendments (including combined amendments with planning permits).


The Planning & Environment Act 1987 establishes the Amendment process that guides and controls land use and development.

Council staff maintain a Forward Plan that includes a pool of projects relating to policy development, strategic initiatives, planning scheme amendments, Development Plans, community engagement, responses to State Government papers and continuous improvement projects. The Forward Plan also captures proponent requests that have been deemed to have strategic merit and can be resourced. The Forward Plan does not commit Council to actioning a project.

During the Annual Budget Cycle, Council prepare and adopt an Annual Strategic Planning Workplan (Annual Work Plan), that draws priority projects from the Forward Plan and commits funding for the coming financial year.

Amendment requests can be divided into two broad categories:

  1. Council initiated - either a municipal-wide, place-based (e.g. neighbourhood-scale or activity centre-wide) or topic-based (e.g. vegetation controls, neighbourhood character, green wedge controls) scheme review process. This ensures the resources required to process Amendments address priority needs and delivers the widest community benefit possible.
  1. Proponent requested – these can be ad-hoc in the context of Councils strategic planning program and have the potential to divert Council resources from priorities outlined in the Council Plan or Forward Plan and often benefit a small proportion of the community.

The Council has the discretion to seek Authorisation from the Minister for Planning to prepare and exhibit an Amendment, or to decline Amendment requests. In addition to the standard Amendment process, Section 96 of the Act allows an Amendment to be combined with a proposed planning permit.

Should the Council (inclusive of staff) decline to accept an Amendment, proponents may request the Minister for Planning to intervene in accordance with the circumstances set out in Planning Practice Note 29: Ministerial Powers of Intervention in Planning and Heritage Matters. There are no review rights at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to appeal Council’s or the Minister for Planning’s decision to not entertain Amendment requests.


Key term



Means Casey City Council, being a body corporate constituted as a municipal Council under the Local Government Act 1989

Council staff

Means the Chief Executive Officer and staff of Council appointed by the Chief Executive Officer.


The Planning and Environment Act 1987 sets out procedures for preparing and amending planning schemes. It also sets out the process for obtaining planning permits under a scheme and other administrative procedures.


Planning Scheme Amendments that propose to change the planning policies, strategies or controls that apply to land use and development.

Annual Work Plan

A work plan that draws priority projects from the Forward Plan and commits funding for the coming financial year.

Fee Agreement

The costs and fee agreement that is entered into with the proponent and the landowner. This Agreement would apply to MOU and non-MOU Amendment requests.

Forward Plan

A pool of strategic planning projects that also captures proponent requests that have been deemed to have strategic merit and can be resourced.


A Memorandum of Understanding between Council and proponents to fund and secure planning resources.

Direct Costs

Costs that are incurred by Council when processing and determining an Amendment. The types of costs are set out in Attachment A


The Casey Planning Scheme is a statutory document which sets out objectives, policies and provisions for the use, development and protection of land and regulates the use and development of land through planning provisions.

Section 96

The Act allows for a planning permit to be applied for in conjunction with an Amendment and considered at the same time.


The following four principles underpin how proponent requested amendments will be considered:

Community Benefit   

Council has an obligation to prioritise its limited resources for strategic land use planning to those projects that respond to the Council Plan; statutory obligations; the Casey Planning Scheme Review; and that deliver the widest community benefits.

Whilst Council does allocate some annual resources to administrating proponent requested Planning Scheme Amendments, this is limited to ensure priority is given to strategic projects with the widest community benefit.

Facilitating Proponent Requests  

Decisions by Council with respect to prioritising privately requested Planning Scheme Amendments will be made in a consistent and transparent way. Council will facilitate proponent requested amendments that meet the following criteria:

  1. Are well considered and prepared; and
  2. Demonstrate strategic merit (See Attachment B); and
  3. Do not compromise established Council strategic priorities; and
  4. Where Council’s direct costs are funded externally

Requests that meet these criteria will be included on the Forward Plan and be considered annually for priority alongside all other Council initiated projects and proponent requests. The relevant Manager has discretion to advance requests if exceptional circumstances exist that are received within year should there be capacity to accommodate and the above criteria are met.

Direct Cost Recovery

Direct costs associated with all proponent requested Amendments must be funded by proponents including:

  1. Complete documentation in support of the amendment request (including any requested changes)
  2. Statutory fees and charges
  3. Peer and legal review of documentation and submissions
  4. Public exhibition costs
  5. Planning Panel fees (Note: Council and parties will cover their own representation costs at Panel)
  6. Post approval implementation costs

A Direct Costs Agreement (see Attachment A) will be entered into with the proponent and the landowner before confirming nomination for the Annual Work Plan.

Partnering with Industry

Council will consider well prepared proposals that have strategic merit for industry to fund additional Council planning resources to manage proponent requested Planning Scheme Amendments. These Amendments can then be brought forward for a forthcoming financial year. This funding will be secured through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Council and the individual parties. These requests can be considered outside of the annual workplan and budget cycle. It may include a shared funding approach with other proponents to fund a pool of proponent requested Planning Scheme Amendments. These planning resources would be recruited, appointed, and managed by Council. The funding of planning resources is a fee for process service and is not a fee for predetermined outcomes.


A - Direct Costs Agreement Schedule

B - Strategic Merit Assessment Tool





  • be aware of this policy and refer parties seeking a PSA to Council’s strategic planning teams and the Proponent Requested Planning Scheme Amendment Policy.
  • have regard to the Proponent Requested PSA Policy and endorsed Strategic Land Use Planning Work Plan when considering requests for amendments to the Casey Planning Scheme

Proponent/ Applicant

to complete Attachment A - Direct Costs Agreement Schedule and Attachment B - Strategic Merit Assessment Tool for Planning Scheme Amendment Proposals prior to lodgement of a PSA request

Officers in the Growth & Investment and Planning & Building Departments (as applicable)

  • assessment of the filled in forms (Attachment A and B) by the proponent
  • advice to proponents
  • regular review of this policy


Breaches will be dealt with under the provisions of the following:

  • Code of Conduct for Councillors
  • Protocol for Councillors – Land Use Planning

Relevant Forms



Attachments A & B

Attachments to this Policy.

Document History

Date approved

Change Type


Next Review Date

20 April 2021

Document Initiation


30 April 2023


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