At a special meeting on Monday, Hepburn Shire Council adopted the C80hepb Planning Scheme Amendment and will now submit it to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and the Minister for Planning for approval.

Mayor, Cr Lesley Hewitt, said the amendment was a significant project and the culmination of two years’ work. “This was an enormous project and I thank the many community members, stakeholders and officers who have provided input and feedback to help us get to this point,” said Cr Hewitt. “The amendment will bring our planning scheme into current-day thinking and enable better protection of the local character of our Shire that we all love,” she said. “It is an important first step in our strategic planning work. We acknowledge there is still a lot more work to do and we are committed to prioritising this.

The amendment is a comprehensive review of the Hepburn Planning Scheme that provides urban planning considerations to guide development and land use planning. It also includes a strategic planning framework to enhance outcomes for future development, land use planning and appropriate environmental protection.

Council received 276 submissions on the draft amendment during community consultation in August 2020. As a result of community consultation, Council withdrew two controversial parts of the draft Amendment (Design and Development Overlay (DDO6) around the Daylesford Transfer Station and the Significant Landscapes Overlay (SLO). Following this, Council referred submissions to an Independent Panel for consideration and to make recommendations. The adopted planning scheme incorporated all or part of 12 of the Independent Panel’s 19 recommendations. Council officers recommended against adopting seven of the Independent Panel recommendations.

Council and staff will hold community sessions in coming weeks to explain the amendment and the next steps. Read the adopted version of the C80 Amendment in the Council meeting papers.