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Hinchinbrook Shire Planning Scheme

Planning in Hinchinbrook

Hinchinbrook Shire Council, like other councils throughout the State, is responsible for ensuring development that occurs within the local government area is conducted in a manner that meets community expectations and relevant standards.  Ultimately Council’s responsibility in the planning process is to ensure that the community’s quality of life is maintained and improved where possible. To do this, Council relies upon the planning scheme to identify and communicate what is appropriate development, where this may occur and the type of application required.


What is a Planning Scheme?

A planning scheme is a legal document prepared by Council under State planning legislation with a specific purpose of guiding and regulating the development of land. A planning scheme comprises a set of rules and supporting maps and policies that manage and guide the way land, buildings and structures can be used and developed within a local government area. A planning scheme considers development from a shire wide level down to a town, suburb or individual lot level.  It is a plan.  It is the document that aims to ensure that there is enough residential, industrial, commercial land and that these uses are located in areas that complement each other and reduce potential for conflicts between neighbouring uses.


Hinchinbrook Shire Planning Scheme 2005

In accordance with the Integrated Planning Act 1997 (IPA), the local government for Hinchinbrook Shire has prepared this planning scheme as a framework for managing development in a way that advances the purpose of the IPA by:

  • identifying assessable and self-assessable development
  • identifying outcomes sought to be achieved in the local government area as the context for assessing development

Transition to the New Planning Scheme

The current planning scheme, the Hinchinbrook Shire Council Planning Scheme 2005, was prepared under the Integrated Planning Act 1997 and therefore refers to outdated terminology and categories of development. The Hinchinbrook Shire Council has prepared the Draft Hinchinbrook Shire Planning Scheme 2017 under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 taking into consideration the Planning Act 2016.

Please refer to the Guidance on the Development Assessment Rules and the Planning Act 2016 for guidance on how to interpret the Hinchinbrook Shire Council Planning Scheme 2005 as from 3 July 2017.

The Draft Hinchinbrook Shire Planning Scheme 2017 public consultation process has been successfully completed, click here to view the Community Consultation Report.

The Hinchinbrook Shire Planning Scheme 2017 will be published later in 2017 after approval from the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning has been received. The Hinchinbrook Shire Planning Scheme 2017 will on approval supersede the Hinchinbrook Shire Council Planning Scheme 2005.


Hinchinbrook Shire Planning Scheme 2017

The new planning scheme is called the Hinchinbrook Shire Planning Scheme 2017, but can also be known as the town plan or simply as the planning scheme. The planning scheme is made up of two key elements: a written component, and maps; these elements must be used in tandem. The written component of the Hinchinbrook Shire Planning Scheme 2017 is made up of the following components:

  • A strategic framework which sets the policy direction and forms the basis for ensuring appropriate development occurs within the city for the life of the planning scheme.
  • Assessment tables which identifies if a development application is necessary, the level of assessment, the codes and other provisions the development may be assessed against.
  • Zones that designate land for a particular use (e.g. residential, industrial, rural). All land in Hinchinbrook Shire is included in a zone. Precincts may be identified for a part of a zone. A precinct provides further detail for a specific area within a zone.
  • Overlays that identify areas that have unique characteristics that require further planning consideration when a development is proposed. These characteristics may relate to natural hazards such as bushfire, flooding or landslides, contain a value such as biodiversity or cultural heritage, or a constraint such as proximity to an airport, quarry or major water resource (e.g. Herbert River).
  • Development codes which relate to specific types of development such as reconfiguration of a lot applications.
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