Current Strategic Projects

Allansford Strategic Framework Plan

The Allansford Strategic Framework Plan (Allansford SFP) was adopted by Council on 3 May 2021.

The Allansford SFP sets a long-term strategic land use vision for Allansford and provides a framework for its future growth and development over the next 20 years.

The Allansford SFP has considered site attributes, relevant policy and range of feedback received during three rounds of community and stakeholder engagement. 

The Allansford SFP can be accessed via the link above. 

To give effect to the Allansford SFP, Council will prepare a planning scheme amendment to provide the policy direction to deliver the recommendations of the plan. 

Please contact Andrew Nield on (03) 5559 4800, or by email with any questions in relation to the Allansford SFP.

Bushfield-Woodford Strategic Framework Plan

Warrnambool City Council is developing the very first Strategic Framework Plan for Bushfield and Woodford, to be known as the Bushfield-Woodford Strategic Framework Plan (the Plan). 

The two small towns of Bushfield and Woodford are situated in very close proximity to each other stretching from the Hopkins Highway in the east towards Caramut Road in the west; and approximately three kilometres from the City of Warrnambool.

The adjacent settlements face further residential growth and wastewater management challenges. Council needs to address these challenges while also protecting the unique features of these small townships to ensure great futures and unique rural lifestyle. The Plan aims to provide a coordinated, long term vision to guide land use and development and manage the future development of the settlements 20 years into the future.

Community participation is essential to achieving these objectives. An online community survey conducted late in 2022, a community drop-in session in March 2023 and engagement with a variety of government and community group stakeholders have guided the creation of a draft Plan. In September of 2023 Warrnambool City Council released the Draft Plan for public comment. 

The community have provided significant feedback on the Draft Plan, both positive and negative. The comments have offered further thoughts and reinforced some priorities. There was great feedback on the Draft received from individual community members, community groups and government agencies with an interest in the small towns. The Draft Plan is currently being revised based on the feedback received, as expected. Some additional community engagement will take place prior to preparing the final version of the Plan.

A newly created Implementation Strategy will guide the further realisation of the revised Strategic Framework Plan vision and development over the next 20 years and beyond.  Both of these will be presented to Council for formal adoption. The Implementation Strategy will also detail further technical work as well as actions required to realise the vision of the Bushfield-Woodford Strategic Framework Plan.

Development of the Plan is funded through a grant provided by the Victorian Planning Authority.

If you have questions or comments regarding the project, please contact Peter Reid on 5559-4800 or via email at You can also write to:
Warrnambool City Council Strategic Planning
PO Box 198
Warrnambool, Vic, 3280

East of Aberline Precinct Structure Plan

The future urban growth area is located between Wangoom Road to the north, Dales Road to the south, Aberline Road to the west, and Horne Road to the east.

The growth area covers approximately 360 hectares of land. The northern boundary of the growth area abuts the municipal boundary of Moyne Shire. The growth area is positioned centrally to other key development sites identified in the Warrnambool Planning Scheme, being the Eastern Activity Precinct and the Horne Road Industrial Precinct.

A Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) is being prepared for the growth area to guide future development and land use outcomes within the growth area, known as East of Aberline Precinct Structure Plan.

On 7 September 2019 the Minister for Planning appointed the VPA as the planning authority to prepare the PSP, at the request of Warrnambool City Council. This means that this project has been identified as a priority for timely completion by the Victorian Government and the VPA will lead the preparation of the PSP, working closely with Council.

Further information, including regular updates, can be found on the VPA’s website at

Please contact Noor Syuhada Shamsul, Strategic Planning Manager at the VPA, or Julie McLean, Coordinator City Strategy at Warrnambool City Council, for further enquiries.


Eastern Activity Centre Structure Plan

The Eastern Activity Centre is Warrnambool’s only major activity centre, second only in scale and importance to the City Centre. In addition to its importance as an activity centre, the centre, and adjoining land to the east, also serves a role as the City’s current eastern gateway.

Activity Centres provide a broad range of goods and services to residents, businesses, and visitors focussing on mixed use development including retail, commercial and residential. The existence of a comprehensive network of activity centres, that differ in role and function, provide an important contribution to the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of Warrnambool and southwest Victoria.  

A Structure Plan is a document that provides guidance and certainty about the intended use and development outcomes for an area, in this case, a mixed-use activity centre.

The Warrnambool Eastern Activity Centre Structure Plan has been implemented into the Warrnambool Planning Scheme. The Structure Plan identifies a vision for the centre, as well as guiding land use and development outcomes that supports the centre’s role in Warrnambool’s network of Activity Centres. The Structure Plan also recognises the prominent gateway role of the Eastern Activity Centre.

The Structure Plan is accompanied by a Shared Infrastructure Plan which sets out the higher order shared infrastructure that is required to service new development within the Eastern Activity Centre.

For further information, please contact Julie McLean, Coordinator City Strategy, on (03) 5559 4836 or by email

North Dennington Development Plan

On 3 August 2015, Council endorsed a Development Plan for the North Dennington Growth Area.

The Development Plan applies to all land within the Growth Area as defined by the adopted North Dennington Structure Plan. The area generally includes all land west of Harrington Road, south and east of the Merri River, and north of the former railway line.

For further information please contact Rob Wandell on

South Warrnambool Flood Study

Warrnambool City Council is undertaking new flood modelling of the Merri River catchment in South Warrnambool. The South Warrnambool Flood Investigation covers the area from Rutledges Cutting (in Moyne Shire) to the mouth of the Merri River, and upstream to the Princes Highway Bridge in Dennington. The new study updates and expands on the 2007 study.

The investigation will look at the risks posed by large storm tide and riverine flood events and the worsening flood risk profile due to the effects of climate change. Updated knowledge on climate change-induced extreme events, sea level rise and storm tide flooding will enable more effective planning for South Warrnambool. Ultimately the investigation will result in an amendment to the Warrnambool Planning Scheme that will include revised flood mapping and land use controls. The investigation will also:
-    assess the feasibility of establishing flood alerting/warning arrangements (including for significant storm tide events);
-    provide reliable flood risk information for insurance purposes;
-    provide flood mapping and intelligence products for the entire project area to inform and develop emergency response planning and build community flood resilience; and,
-    assess the feasibility of structural flood mitigation works.

The Glenelg-Hopkins Catchment Management Authority is managing the project in conjunction with Warrnambool City Council, with detailed technical work being carried out by Venant Solutions.

Council is grateful to South Warrnambool residents who have become involved in the project. The anecdotal evidence and lived experiences which were shared via a listening post and online survey in November 2022, and at a community meeting in June 2023 have been very valuable in building and testing the flood model to date. In October 2023 the study area community was canvassed for flood mitigation ideas. At another community meeting in November, community members assisted with the selection of mitigation options for further pre-feasibility cost/benefit analysis.

The refined flood model is being reviewed by an independent expert consultancy. This review has experienced some delay but is now back on track. When that review is complete it is intended to post the flood mapping for public viewing via Council’s website. This is anticipated to occur in February. Once the mitigation options pre-feasibility analysis is complete there will be another community meeting to answer questions on the flood mapping and present the results of the options analysis. This meeting is likely to be in April 2024 with all affected property owners and occupiers to be notified of the meeting.

If you have any enquiries, concerns or comments regarding the project please contact Peter Reid on 5559 4800 or via email on

Sustainable Subdivisions Framework

Councils engage shared Sustainable Subdivision Advisor resource 

Warrnambool City Council has joined forces with 6 Victorian Councils to push for more sustainable development outcomes in greenfield subdivisions by employing a Sustainable Subdivisions Advisor to work across the 7 Councils.  Participating Councils include City of Greater Bendigo (lead Council), Ballarat City Council, City of Greater Geelong, Horsham Rural City Council, Mildura Rural City Council, Moorabool Shire Council and Warrnambool City Council. 
The dedicated 12 month shared Sustainable Subdivisions Advisor resource will be hosted by the City of Greater Bendigo but will support planning staff assessing subdivision applications to utilise the Sustainable Subdivisions Framework (SSF) resources whilst at the same time assist developers to increase sustainable development outcomes including encouraging a move towards all electric suburbs.  
If you are in the preliminary stages of preparing a subdivision plan or ready to lodge an application, please contact our Planning Support team to arrange a meeting (no fee) with the Sustainable Subdivisions Advisor who is available to assist developers with delivering sustainable subdivision outcomes. 

Resources to support planning applicants to self-assess their subdivision and case studies are available at the links below.  

Information for subdivision applicants  

Are you submitting a subdivision planning permit application? See below to download the relevant applicant kit and template below with instructions on how you can participate in the Sustainable Subdivisions Framework (SSF) Trial. For additional information on the SSF and application process, visit the CASBE website or contact the Sustainable Subdivisions Advisor at for further information.
Medium Subdivisions 16 – 59 lots 
•    Applicant Kit for Medium Subdivisions 

Large Subdivisions 60 – 249 lots 
•    Applicant Kit for Large Subdivisions 

Very Large Subdivisions 250+ lots 
•    Applicant Kit for Very Large Subdivisions 

About the Sustainable Subdivisions Framework 

How does the trial work? 

For subdivision greater than 16 lots, Council planning staff will work with applicants to assess their subdivision applications against the Sustainable Subdivisions Framework (SSF). There is no additional application fee for developers to utilise the Sustainable Subdivision Advisor and resources. 

We invite you to talk to us about opportunities to apply the SSF to your subdivision application. We acknowledge implementing any recommendations within the SSF is voluntary, we do however strongly encourage developers to utilise the SSF to frame your thinking when preparing the initial concept subdivision design and then implement opportunities identified during the detailed design process.  We welcome all feedback on the SSF and welcome collaboration with the development community so we can improve the SSF and deliver beneficial outcomes for our community.  

Why is a Framework important? 

The creation of a subdivision is the creation of a community. A subdivision is an opportunity to set up community life that will extend over many decades. The initial subdivision design represents an enormous opportunity to create fundamental conditions, for a sustainable and resilient community. 

Despite clear objectives in existing planning policy seeking to influence sustainable design outcomes in the built environment, there is limited information regarding requirements and standards to support robust evaluation of subdivisions from a sustainability perspective. 

The long-term nature of subdivision planning is now set against a backdrop where our climate is fundamentally changing. Many councils are planning population growth for the next 20-30 years, in some cases via Precinct Structure Plans, and are currently considering how these communities might contribute to achieving the 2050 net zero emissions target identified in the Victorian Climate Change Act. 

What will the Framework achieve? 

The SSF seeks to mitigate the impact of future climate projection scenarios, by creating sustainable and liveable subdivisions that can adapt to the changing climate. The SSF identifies seven categories that can assist in creating environmentally sustainable subdivisions.  
These are: 
•    Site Layout and Liveability 
•    Streets and Public Realm 
•    Energy 
•    Ecology 
•    Integrated Water Management (IWM) 
•    Urban Heat 
•    Circular Economy (Materials and Waste) 

The seven SSF categories each include objectives and measurable standards to facilitate stronger sustainability outcomes and apply innovation and implementation considerations to all categories. 

For further detailed information about the Sustainable Subdivisions Framework, please visit the Council Alliance for a Sustainable Built Environment (CASBE) websiteFrom the website you can access an extensive array of resources to support the SSF, including a copy of the SSF itself and sample submission requirements.  A series of case studies are also available from the website. 

Warrnambool Planning Scheme Review

The Warrnambool Planning Scheme controls land use and development within the municipality. 

It contains State and local planning policies, zones and overlays and other provisions that affect how land can be used and developed.

The planning scheme indicates if a planning permit is required to establish a new use of land, to construct a building or make other changes to the land.

The Local Planning Policy Framework (LPPF) contains planning policies and statements about how decisions will be made, and provides guidance on issues of local significance.

The LPPF contains a Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS) which establishes the strategic planning framework for the City and captures significant planning directions (i.e. greenfield growth areas, city centre renewal, protection of key environmental assets, etc).  The MSS is dynamic and should be continually refined as Council revises its strategic directions.

The MSS and LPPF are informed by a number of Council strategies and policies including the Council Plan (2013-2017), Health and Wellbeing Plan, City-Wide Housing Strategy, Retail Strategy, Industrial Land Use Strategy, Warrnambool Open Space Strategy, to name a few.

Warrnambool Planning Scheme Rewrite Project 2015

In 2014, Council commenced a comprehensive review of the Warrnambool Planning Scheme.  The objectives of the project were to:

  • Ensure the Local Planning Policy Framework (LPPF) is consistent with, and is underpinned by the structure and themes at the State Planning Policy Framework (SPPF) level.
  • Determine whether new policies need to be prepared to implement adopted Council strategies and policies.
  • Provide a draft revised Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS), LPPF and land use planning controls (ie. zones and overlays).

On 2 February 2015, Council endorsed the final report for the Warrnambool Planning Scheme Rewrite Project. 

The Warrnambool Planning Scheme Rewrite final report contained a number of recommendations that will be implemented by a staged approach. The first stage included:

  • Restructure the LPPF, and more specifically the MSS, to align it with the SPPF.
  • Update the LPPF to reflect Council strategies, plans and polices.
  • Refresh the MSS to be a more contemporary document and reflect current issues and influences.
  • Delete all but three local policies, and where relevant, incorporate the objectives and strategies from the deleted policies into the new MSS.
  • Refresh the remaining three local planning polices to provide consistency in language.

The first stage was implemented into the Warrnambool Planning Scheme via Amendment C93 in September 2016.

Warrnambool Planning Scheme Review 2018

Council is required to review its planning scheme in accordance with the requirements of the Planning and Environment Act no later than one year after the Council Plan is approved. 

The review analyses the planning scheme by considering the following questions:

  • What are the key issues to be addressed in the Planning Scheme Review having regard to the current performance of the scheme?
  • What are the possible options or solutions that could be explored to address issues?

The final Warrnambool Planning Scheme Review Report was completed in December 2018 and was adopted by Council on 1 April 2019.

The final report made 30 recommendations to not only improve the Warrnambool Planning Scheme but to prepare for the State Government initiated Smart Planning program that has introduced a new Planning Policy Framework (PPF) into all Victorian Planning Schemes. 

The final report also provides an update on a strategic work program to continue implementation of the recommendations of the Warrnambool Planning Scheme Rewrite Project 2015. 

Further Information

For further information, please contact Andrew Nield, Strategic Planner, on (03) 5559 4800 or by email

Warrnambool Residential Land Supply Monitoring

In 2012, the Victorian State Government’s Urban Development Program undertook an analysis of residential land supply within the Warrnambool LGA. The Urban Development Program report identified that Warrnambool had over 14 years land supply.

In 2013, Warrnambool City Council prepared a housing strategy to guide population growth within the City of Warrnambool to the year 2031. The Warrnambool City-Wide Housing Strategy 2013 identified that residential land supply had increased to over 24 years due to the rezoning of land within designated growth areas.

The Housing Strategy recommended that Council monitor residential land supply on an annual basis.

The latest audit (2021) is the sixth detailed land supply audit since the adoption of the Housing Strategy. In summary there is an adequate stock of zoned residential land to meet projected growth and trend based consumption rates across the municipality. 

Supply and consumption of residential land will continue to be monitored to ensure there is sufficient land supply to meet future demand, and identify any impediments to the delivery of allotments in the short-term.

The City of Warrnambool currently has around 2.6 years supply of development ready minor infill lots and around 20.4 years supply of zoned residential land across the municipality.

In total, there is a residential lot supply of approximately 5,550 lots. This is comprised of:
•    4,211 zoned broad acre lots (77% of supply);
•    1,339 infill lots (23% of supply).

For further information, please contact Andrew Nield, Strategic Planner, on (03) 5559 4800 or by email

Warrnambool Residential Land Supply Report 2021

Warrnambool Residential Land Supply and Demand Assessment

The Warrnambool City-Wide Housing Strategy 2013 recommends that Council monitor residential land supply across Warrnambool on an annual basis.  Council has undertaken an annual audit of residential land supply from 2016 to 2021 to monitor future demand levels. The most recent audit estimated there was sufficient land stocks to satisfy 22.7 years of demand across Warrnambool.    

On 26th July 2022, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) updated its estimated resident populations for regions and local government areas in Australia. The updates use the results of the 2021 census and cover each year from 2017 to 2021, thereby superseding previously published population estimates that were based on the 2016 census. The new ABS data will have implications on Council’s strategic planning and forecasting for residential growth, as they do after every census. 

Spatial Economics Pty Ltd have undertaken an independent and robust residential land supply and demand assessment with the new data that can be used to update existing residential land supply, as well as making predications for future demand levels. This includes the supply, demand, sales pricing, and analyses of historical and current residential development in Warrnambool.   

The Spatial Economics Pty Ltd work presents three projected demand scenarios based on the most recently available evidence. It estimates that based on the identified supply and demand scenarios, there are sufficient land stocks to satisfy 23 to over 25 years of demand across Warrnambool. In addition, there are sufficient unzoned residential land stocks to satisfy an additional 25 plus years of demand for all three demand scenarios. 

The Warrnambool Residential Land Supply and Demand Assessment report was endorsed by Council at its meeting on 7th November 2022.

Residential Land Supply and Demand Assessment Report 2022