Greater Geelong Planning Scheme

Planning schemes set out policies and provisions for the use, development and protection of land for an area.

Each municipality in Victoria is covered by a planning scheme.

These are legal documents prepared by the local council or the Minister for Planning, and approved by the Minister.

The Geelong Planning Scheme can be used to make decisions about the development and use of land within our municipality.

Planning scheme contents

Planning scheme maps (show how the land is zoned and overlays affecting the land)

Zones reflect the primary character of land, such as residential, industrial or rural, and indicate the type of use which is appropriate in that zone.

Sometimes, local areas have special planning controls (known as overlays), such as areas of significant vegetation or special heritage significance.

These controls are in addition to the zone controls and ensure that important aspects of the land are recognised. 

Incorporated documents

There are also statewide documents such as the Code of Practice for Private Tennis Court Development which have the same legality as the planning scheme.

You may apply for a formal planning certificate, which tells you how the land is zoned and if any overlay controls apply to it, as shown on the planning scheme maps.

Talk to our planners for further information by phoning 03 5272 4456 or  by email (

Effects of a planning scheme

Planning schemes may apply to all private and public land in Victoria. A planning scheme is binding on all people and corporations, on every Minister, government department, public authority and municipal council. A council usually has responsibility as both planning authority and responsible authority.

Planning scheme exemptions

Some exemptions do apply. These relate to existing use rights, exemptions declared under Section 16 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, Commonwealth land and permanently reserved Crown land.

Page last updated: Monday, 6 March 2017