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A Local Government's Planning Scheme is the principal instrument which delivers development across local government areas. The planning scheme provides a detailed direction for an area focusing on community planning and aspirations, while ensuring the needs of the state and the regional community are incorporated.

The state plays a key role in operating the system and therefore, how planning schemes should be made or amended, and what they must and/or should consider. This is referred to as Plan Making. Key elements in the plan making system include state interests, regional plans, scheme contents and process guidance.

The local community have an integral role in the plan making process. When a plan is being written or major change is being made to an existing scheme, the Council talks with its local community to ensure it meets their expectations.

Creating a planning scheme is a significant exercise for a council and its community. The state has recently commissioned several pieces of work to support local government draft their planning schemes. This material will be delivered to councils throughout 2015.

Regional planning

Regional plans form one part of a suite of policies and legislative instruments that guide land use planning and development in Queensland.

Community infrastructure designation

Designation identifies land for community infrastructure to facilitate the integration of land use and infrastructure planning and the efficient and cost-effective provision of the infrastructure.

Local government planning schemes

Local government planning schemes describe a council's plan for the future direction of a particular local government area and can span 20 years or more.

Land use planning

The department is responsible for coordinating land use planning within Queensland. This includes implementing strategies to ensure the state can support Queensland's growing economy and population.

Precinct planning

Precinct planning is undertaken for identified sites where there are particular state planning interests or development matters that need to be resolved. Precinct planning typically involves the preparation of a blueprint for the area and often includes investigations into appropriate land use options, physical environment constraints, infrastructure requirements, community values and expectations and tenure arrangements.

Master planned areas

Master planned areas are typically greenfield sites which are to transition from rural, non-urban land to urban land.

Statutory guidelines

Statutory guidelines are guidelines developed under legislation to provide direction on process and addressing planning issues.

State planning instruments

State planning instruments are statutory instruments that articulate the government's position on planning and development related issues and provide for the protection and management of those issues within the planning and development system.

ePlan Portal

The department has launched an ePlan portal - a digital platform for lodgement of planning scheme documents that streamlines the State Interest Review (SIR) process and provides for an efficient lodgement system for local government.

Priority Development Areas

Priority Development Areas (PDAs) are parcels of land within Queensland, identified for specific accelerated development with a focus on economic growth.

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On 3 July 2017, Queensland started operating under new planning legislation – the Planning Act 2016. Information on this page relates to the previous legislation – the Sustainable Planning Act 2009. Learn more about the new planning system.