What is a structure plan?

    A structure plan provides directions for future growth, development and change to a township for the next 15 to 20 years.

    The structure plan process involves identifying the current issues facing a township, constraints, opportunities, community aspirations and township requirements. These plans establish a vision for the relevant localities, identifying objectives and strategies that aim to support sustainable growth balanced with the needs of existing and future residents.

    A structure plan can define the location of settlement boundaries and identify appropriate planning controls to protect elements of a township and guide land use and development changes.

    What issues can a structure plan consider?

    Issues that can be considered during the structure plan process vary according to the place. They may include:

    • The shared vision for the town

    • Town centre & public space design

    • Shops, businesses and employment provision

    • Housing provision

    • Heritage and neighbourhood character

    • Community infrastructure (such as schools, health services, kindergarten)

    • Open space (active sports, playgrounds, parks)

    • Roads and connections

    • Public transport, cycling and walking connections

    • The environment & areas of conservational value

    • Utilities & services

    A structure plan will identify the important things that should be protected as well as things that need to be improved.

    How long do structure plans take to prepare?

    The preparation of a project can take up to 12 or 18 months to finalise.  It is a key strategic document which needs to be prepared through a detailed process to ensure the recommendations are robust enough to provide meaningful directions.  This process also involves multiple stages of community engagement where feedback is sought to help inform the process.

    What will it lead to?

    The structure plan will assist Council mainly with planning issues, but it also goes beyond this. It is a key strategic document that helps Councils and agencies determine the future provision of infrastructure and services.

    A completed structure plan will include recommendations for Council in future planning, community infrastructure, recreational, urban design and economic development activities. This may include recommendations for changes to the Mitchell Planning Scheme and also influence Council’s Capital Works Program which can lead to physical improvements to public areas.

    A structure plan can also be used by residents, developers and other agencies to guide the consideration of future requests for rezoning and planning permit applications.

    How can I get involved?

    We invite the community and interested parties to register for future engagement activities. How we engage with community members is different for every town and place because of differences in local residents and their requirements. Things we have done in the past have included focus groups, community representative groups, workshops, drop-in sessions, information booths and trader door-knocks.

    However, Council will always provide a minimum of 4 weeks for wider public engagement during key project milestones, and use this time to go out and meet community members, explain the stage of the process and seek oral or written submissions when feedback is being sought.

    Our project websites will provide up-to-date information on published or draft documents, and also be used to notify residents of upcoming engagement activities. The websites will also provide a central location for online surveys, forums and discussion boards to allow an ongoing conversation between interested members of the public.

    And finally, contact can always be made with Council’s Strategic Planning Department on (03) 5734 6200.