Planning process glossary

Below is a list of definitions to key words and phrases used throughout planning process related pages.

Accessway – an accessway relates to the path used to approach the road from within a property. It refers to what is happening within the site only, not on the road reserve. An accessway is also referred to as a driveway.

Arterial Road or Declared Road - a higher order road providing for moderate to high volumes, at relatively higher speeds. Arterial roads are typically used for inter-suburban or inter-urban journeys, often linking to freeways. Declared roads are classified under the Road Management Act 2004 as Freeways, Arterial Roads and Non-Arterial State Roads.Declared roads are managed by VicRoads. About 15% of Victorian roads are declared roads and the remaining 85% are local roads (managed by Councils).

Consolidation - the joining of 2 or more lots together to make a larger lot.

Council - a body of people elected to manage the affairs of a particular area – there are 79 councils in Victoria. Collectively, these 79 councils are often referred to as local government. Each council plans and delivers services in health, planning and building control, business and economic development, waste and environmental management, and human and community services. A Council area can also be known as a municipality.

Crossover – the connection from an accessway or driveway, from the edge of the property to the road. Crossovers will often cross a footpath, nature strip or kerb. A crossover allows vehicles to move between the property and the road. 

Development contributions plan (DCP) - development contributions are payments or in-kind works, facilities or services provided by developers towards the supply of infrastructure required to meet the future needs of the community.

Frontage - the road alignment at the front of a lot. If a lot abuts 2 or more roads, the frontage will be the one to which the building, or proposed building, faces.

Infrastructure - basic facilities and networks (e.g. buildings, roads, and utilities) needed for the functioning of a local community or broader society. Infrastructure can be provided by the private sector (local roads, childcare, shopping centres), or by Government (kindergartens, schools, roads and railways).

Local Government – interchangeable with Council

Lot - a part (consisting of one or more pieces) of any land (except a road, a reserve, or common property) shown on a plan, which can be disposed of separately. Also knows as a land parcel.
Planning authority - a planning authority is any person or body given the power to prepare a planning scheme or an amendment to a planning scheme.

Planning and Environment Act 1987 - the purpose of this Act is to establish a framework for planning the use, development and protection of land in Victoria.
Planning permit - a planning permit is a legal document that allows a certain use and / or development on land. It normally contains a written document with conditions that must be met and a set of plans. Most applications for a planning permit will be made to the local council, but some are made to the Minister for Planning.

Planning scheme - planning schemes are developed in accordance with planning policies and strategies. They contain planning policies, zones, overlays and other provisions that affect how land can be used and developed.

Principal Freight Network (PFN) -the Principal Freight Network is the part of the larger transport network over which the movement of heavy freight will be concentrated. 
Principal Public Transport Network (PPTN) - the PPTN is a statutory land use planning tool that supports integrated land use and transport planning. It does this by providing certainty to planners and the community about locations that are, or will be, served by high-quality public transport. 

Road capacity - the maximum traffic flow that can be achieved on a given roadway using all available lanes; usually expressed in vehicles per hour (vph) or vehicles per day (vpd).

Road Management Act 2004 – the purpose of the Road Management Act 2004 is to establish a coordinated management system for public roads. This system aims to promote safe and efficient state and local public road networks and the responsible use of our roads.

Road operation - all traffic management and road user support activities (such as traffic controls, signs, information and enforcement) intended to allow or improve the safe use of the road network.

Road Zone (RDZ) - there are 2 categories of road:
  • Road Zone Category 1 (pink in zoning maps)
  • Road Zone Category 2 (yellow in zoning maps).  

All other roads are local roads (coloured the same as the zone). Road Zone Category 1 roads identify major roads that are heavily utilised, provide significant transport connections and include freeways and highways. These roads are usually managed and controlled by VicRoads.

Shared path - an off-road path for cycling and walking.

Signalised intersection – an intersection with traffic lights.

Subdivision - dividing a property into smaller lots that can be sold separately. 

Traffic controls - any signs, signals (such as traffic lights) or road markings for the purpose of managing, warning or guiding traffic.
Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) - the planning policies and controls upon which all land use planning decisions in the state of Victoria are made.

Zone - all land in Victoria is divided into areas called zones by local government – done via maps in their planning schemes. The zones indicate whether a planning permit is required to construct a building or carry out works. These zones determine what land can and can't be used for. They are one of the elements of a planning scheme that can determine whether or not a planning permit is required.

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