What is a Planning Scheme Amendment?

A Planning Scheme Amendment is a change to Council's Planning Scheme. Generally, an amendment involves either a change to the Council's zoning plan by rezoning of a piece of land; or a change to the written part of the Planning Scheme, "the Ordinance", which sets out the rules under which use and development of land can be carried out within Southern Midlands.

Planning Scheme Amendments are used to keep the Planning Scheme "up to date" with ongoing changes in community needs and trends in development in the city. Planning Scheme Amendments can also be used to "fine tune" the Planning Scheme rules as a result of a change in Council’s strategies or to solve interpretation problems.

Who can seek a Planning Scheme Amendment?

Any person can ask the Council to start an amendment process. If that person is seeking an amendment which affects one or more parcels of land which they do not own, then they must first get the written permission of the land owner or owners.

Who Approves Planning Scheme Amendments?

In the first instance, Council decides whether or not to initiate a draft amendment. If the Council decides not to initiate a draft amendment, the applicant may ask the Tasmanian Planning Commission (TPC) to review the process by which Council arrived at its decision.

If the amendment process proceeds, the TPC makes the final decision on the amendment request. The TPC is an independent body set up under the State's planning legislation. The TPC has the power to approve, modify or reject a Planning Scheme amendment.

How Much Does it Cost?

The initial fee for Council to assess an amendment request is $1,000 plus any land use or development fees associated with the amendment if the application is made under Section 43A of the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993. If Council decides to initiate a draft amendment, then a further $600 fee is payable to Council to advertise the draft amendment and take it through the rest of the process. Fees are also payable to the TPC if a request progresses.

How Long Does it Take?

A Planning Scheme amendment generally takes about 6 months to go through the full assessment process.

Preliminary Meeting

A preliminary meeting with Council’s planning staff is highly recommended prior to making an amendment request.

What is the Process for a Planning Scheme Amendment?

The Planning Scheme Amendment Process is quite complex, but the following link to a flowchart shows the main steps that need to be taken in the process. See below for the flowchart diagram.

How Do I Request an Amendment?

To request a Planning Scheme amendment, you need to provide the following:

1.  Four copies of request for amendment, accurately describing:

a)the location of the land;

b) the existing conditions;

c) the nature of the proposal;

d) the nature of; and need for the amendment;

e) the shortcomings of the existing Planning Scheme provisions;

f) an assessment of the merits of the proposed amendment against the requirements of s. 32 of the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993, in particular, the Schedule 1 Objectives of the Act and relevant State Policies. These can be accessed by looking up the Act at www.thelaw.tas.gov.au.

2.  If the person who requests the amendment is not the owner, then the amendment must be signed by the owner(s) OR accompanied by the separate written consent of the owner(s) - a statutory requirement.

3.  Two full copies of title including Certificate of Title, title plan & Schedule of Easements.  Additional information may be required by Council to support the request.

You may wish to consider engaging a planning consultant to help with this process.

"S 43A" Combined Planning Permit Application and Amendment Request

A combined planning permit application and amendment process is also available.

If Council decides to initiate a draft amendment, it then considers the planning permit application, as if the Planning Scheme had been amended to allow the proposal.

Council may decide to grant or refuse to grant a permit for the proposal.

Council's decision, the planning permit application and the draft amendment are then placed on public exhibition.

A similar process is then followed as for the normal amendment process.

How to use this service

A preliminary meeting with Council's planning staff is highly recommended prior to making an amendment request. Please contact Council’s Planning section on contact.

Related Links
Tasmanian Planning Commission

 Amendment Process Flow Chart


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