Melbourne Planning Scheme Amendment C309 implements the West Melbourne Structure Plan by introducing new tailored planning controls in the Planning Scheme. This will guide the use and development of land and celebrate the character of West Melbourne as outlined in the Structure Plan. The plan was endorsed by the Future Melbourne Committee in February 2018.

Amendment overview

Amendment C309 proposes to implement the built form and land use directions of the West Melbourne Structure Plan 2018 by introducing new planning provisions into the Planning Scheme to guide future land use and built form in the area.

Land Use

Rezoning some areas to a specifically crafted Special Use Zone will help support a genuine mix of uses in West Melbourne. Minimum employment floorspace requirements are included in the Special Use Zone to support a greater mix of commercial uses in West Melbourne. Commercial floorspace requirements will help to deliver the projected 10,000 jobs in West Melbourne by 2036.

Spencer Street will become the local high street of West Melbourne with shops, cafés and restaurants. The Special Use Zone will support the delivery of the high street. Active uses at street level will be encouraged.

A six per cent affordable housing target in the Special Use Zone will help deliver around 200 affordable dwellings in West Melbourne.

New parking controls will encourage sustainable transport and more efficient use of unused parking spaces in West Melbourne.

Built Form

West Melbourne has evolved to include a mix of building types and uses, from low-rise heritage cottages in the north, mid-rise factories and warehouses in the middle, to larger scale, high-rise apartment buildings in the south. The Structure Plan and Amendment C309 take a character approach to planning for the future of West Melbourne and have identified distinct precincts based on their character.

New floor area ratios and built form controls will ensure that any development responds to the vision and design objectives for each precinct. These controls include maximum floor area ratios and preferred maximum building heights to ensure buildings respect their context and buildings types are diverse.

The proposed changes to the Melbourne Planning Scheme, include:

  • Amend Clause 21.16 Other Local Areas in the Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS) to insert a new Clause 21.16-6 West Melbourne, to ensure the vision for the area reflects the Structure Plan and update Clause 21.16-5 to only refer to North Melbourne.
  • Amend Clause 21.17 Reference Documents to include the West Melbourne Structure Plan 2018.
  • Rezone recently expanded and existing new public open spaces to the Public Park and Recreation Zone (PPRZ).
  • Amend existing Schedules 28, 29 and 33 to the Design and Development Overlay (DDO28, DDO29 and DDO33) and add a new Schedule 71 (DDO71) to implement the built form controls and design recommendations in the Structure Plan. The DDOs will include a mandatory Floor Area Ratio (FAR) as well as provisions to encourage the retention of buildings identified as character buildings.
  • Apply an Environmental Audit Overlay (EAO) to the Structure Plan Area to ensure that potentially contaminated land is suitable for a sensitive use.
  • Amend the schedule to clause 72.03 to include references to the new EAO map in the Melbourne Planning Scheme.
  • Apply a new schedule to the Parking Overlay (PO14) to introduce a maximum parking rate of 0.3 spaces per dwelling.
  • Rezone most of the Mixed Use Zone (MUZ) in the Structure Plan area to a Special Use Zone (SUZ6) to deliver a true mix of uses.

The Special Use Zone 6 includes provisions to:

  • require a minimum proportion of the floor area be allocated to a use other than accommodation;
  • provide for 6 per cent affordable housing in most areas; and
  • require active ground floor uses along Spencer Street, between Hawke Street and Dudley Street to help deliver a new activity centre.

Amendment C309 will affect new development in West Melbourne. If you want to develop or change the use of your land, the new planning controls introduced through Amendment C309 will be considered by Council officers before making a decision on a planning permit application.

The proposed built form and land controls are different depending on which West Melbourne precinct your land is in:

  • Adderley
  • Flagstaff
  • Historic Hilltop
  • Spencer
  • Station Precinct

To see the boundaries of the precincts, see precinct map.

To find out how your property is affected, please review the Amendment documents located in the Document Library on this page.

It is important to note that the Melbourne Planning Scheme is a detailed document and various planning scheme policies and provisions can apply to your property. To find more information, visit Melbourne Planning Scheme.

A floor area ratio sets out a specific level of development that can occur on a site. The floor area ratio is the ratio of a new building’s total floor area in relation to the size of site it is being built on.

The diagram below illustrates the concept of floor area ratios and how it can result in different building types. For example, a floor area ratio of 4:1 allows for a total floor area up to four times the size of the site itself. This could be up to four storeys if 100 per cent of the site is developed or eight storeys if only half the site is developed.

Floor area ratios will allow for a variety of building types in certain area. When combined with built form controls, floor area ratio controls will create a flexible framework in which multiple successful building forms can be achieved.

West Melbourne Structure Plan

West Melbourne is a long-established area with a strong community, diverse mix of housing, warehouses and businesses, and a rich cultural and architectural heritage. The new Structure Plan guides the development of future growth in West Melbourne.

The plan outlines:

  • tailored planning controls to protect character and heritage buildings
  • creation of a new high street at Spencer Street
  • unlocking 10,000m2 of new open space

For further information, visit West Melbourne Structure Plan.

Amendment process

Once public exhibition of the amendment is completed, all submissions will be considered by Council. Under the Planning and Environment Act 1987, Council can decide whether to make the changes requested by submitters, abandon the amendment or request that the Minister for Planning appoint an independent panel to review and hear submissions.

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.

For more information, see planning scheme amendment process.

If you would like further information about Amendment C309 or the Planning Scheme Amendment process, please contact the Planning Policy team on phone 9658 9658 or email at

West Melbourne Precincts