The City of Melbourne has undertaken a review of the current urban design policies in the Melbourne Planning Scheme, which apply to the central city and Southbank.

Amendment C308 proposes a new approach to urban design including a new Design and Development Overlay Schedule 1, which consolidates the existing planning scheme provisions and brings them into line with best practice.

The Amendment also includes the Central Melbourne Design Guide that will assist the community, developers and planners to understand the requirements within the new Design and Development Overlay Schedule 1. The Central Melbourne Design Guide is a graphic representation of the provisions and aims to make clear the elements, which make up a good quality urban design outcome.

The new planning policy will focus on:

  • Limitations on above ground parking to maximise active uses in the lower 20m of a building.
  • New requirements for building services (utilities) at the ground level of a building.
  • Extension of the active frontage requirements that already exist in many areas of the Central City to new areas of the City including Southbank.
  • New requirements to focus on the design detail of the lower levels of a building, to ensure high quality, human scale streets and public spaces.

Read the DDO1 Urban Design in the Central City and Southbank

This is an illustrative document that mirrors the structure of DDO1, which are set out in order of scale from the neighbourhood or precinct, to the scale of building interfaces and design detail.

The six themes include:

  • Urban structure
  • Site Layout
  • Building Mass
  • Building Program
  • Public Interface
  • Design Quality

Read the Central Melbourne Design Guide

The draft DDO1 and Central Melbourne Design Guide is supported by this report which details the research and evidence base which has informed the proposed changes to the Melbourne Planning Scheme.

Read the Promoting high quality Urban Design outcomes in the Central City and Southbank Synthesis report

Amendment process

Amendment C308 proposes to introduce new urban design provisions into the Melbourne Planning Scheme by:

  • Deleting Clause 22.01 Urban Design in the Capital City Zone policy;
  • Replacing Schedule 1 to the Design and Development Overlay Active Street Frontages with a new Schedule 1 to the Design and Development Overlay Urban Design in the Central City and Southbank. The proposed DDO1 includes development requirements to ensure a high standard of urban design, architecture and landscape architecture in all new development;
  • Deleting Schedule 4 to the Design and Development Overlay (Weather Protection – Capital City Zone) and incorporating the provisions of this schedule into the proposed DDO1;
  • Replacing the schedule to Clause 61.03 with a new schedule to Clause 61.03; and
  • Deleting Map No 8DDO1 and Map 8DDO4 and replacing with a new Map No 8DDO1.

Amendment C308 is supported by a Synthesis Report: Promoting high quality urban design outcomes in the Central City and Southbank and the Central Melbourne Design Guide which will provide developers, consultants and planners with an illustrated guide showing how the proposed DDO1 provisions can be achieved.

Amendment C308 will affect new development in the Central City and Southbank. It includes provisions to foster good design in new development.

The proposed DDO1 will apply to land generally within the Hoddle Grid and Southbank and will inform the City of Melbourne’s assessment of any planning permit application within this area.

It is important to note that the Melbourne Planning Scheme is a detailed document and various planning scheme policies and provisions can apply to land. You can find more information at Melbourne Planning Scheme.

The period of public exhibition is complete, and all submissions have been considered by Council. Under the Planning and Environment Act 1987, Council can decide whether to make the change requested by submissions to the Amendment or request that the Minister for Planning to appoint an independent panel to review and hear submissions.

All submitters to Amendment C308 will be contacted by Planning Panels Victoria and advised of panel hearing dates.

Before making a final decision on the Amendment, Council will consider the independent panel’s advice. If the Amendment is adopted by Council, then it will be submitted to the Minister for Planning for final approval.

If you would like further information about Amendment C308 or the Planning Scheme Amendment process please contact the Planning Policy team by phone 9658 9658 or email at

Central Melbourne Design Guide