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Plan Harcourt (Amendment C94)

Harcourt town centre

What is Plan Harcourt?

Plan Harcourt is a Council document that integrates two separate but interrelated projects exploring spatial land use planning, town centre design and activation, and local economic development initiatives. The two projects are:

(1) The Harcourt Framework Plan
(2) Shine Harcourt Leanganook

A Harcourt Strategic Infrastructure Plan is also being prepared. Further information about the Harcourt Strategic Infrastructure Plan will be made available in mid 2022.

Why is Plan Harcourt needed?

Harcourt has been identified as a small town that can accommodate planned growth in the region. This is recognised in the Loddon Mallee South Regional Growth Plan 2014 and in the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme.

Future growth and change in the township needs to be carefully planned to promote and preserve local place values, and recognise the highly productive agricultural operations around the town. Furthermore, plans for growth in Harcourt should ensure that provisions are made for appropriate infrastructure, and that the existing natural and cultural features of the area are maintained for the benefit of future residents.

What is the Harcourt Framework Plan?

The Harcourt Framework Plan is a strategic planning document that forms the basis for future changes to the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme.

The Plan includes policy directions and a graphical map that designates future growth and change in the township, including the rezoning of land and the application of overlays.

The Planning Scheme currently includes policy and a framework (graphical) plan for Harcourt. It is proposed to update the policy and the framework (graphical) plan with the new policy and plan prepared by this process.

Timeline: Where are we now?

amendment timeline

Plan Harcourt was adopted by Council at the Ordinary Meeting of Council on 21 July 2020. The Strategic Planning team has submitted documentation to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning seeking authorisation from the Minister for Planning to commence a planning scheme amendment (known as C94malx).

On 11 November, the Minister for Planning and DELWP authorised Council to proceed with the Amendment subject to conditions. This amendment will seek to introduce new policies, zones, and overlay controls, along with the framework (graphical) plan demonstrating residential and commercial areas, into the Planning Scheme. A formal public exhibition process will occur after the amendment has been authorised.

Find out more information about the planning scheme amendment process.

Plan Harcourt (2020) (Adopted by Council)

The formal public exhibition period of the amendment commences on 11 January 2022 for a period of 8 weeks, closing on 6 March 2022. The exhibition period will consist of notices in the newspaper and on Council’s website, on-line information sessions as well as face-to-face drop-in sessions in Harcourt (subject to COVID-19 restrictions).

Information Sessions

Drop in sessions (subject to COVID-19 restrictions)

Friday 28 January 2022
4:30pm to 6:30pm at the ANA Hall, Harcourt

Tuesday 15 February 2022
4:30pm to 6:30pm at the ANA Hall, Harcourt

Tuesday 1 March 2022
4:30pm to 6:30pm at the ANA Hall, Harcourt

To register for drop in sessions, please contact the Strategic Planning team via email at strategicplanning@mountalexander.vic.gov.au or call 5471 1700.

Online Information Sessions (Covid-19 safe)

Should Covid-19 restrictions make the abovementioned drop in sessions impossible, we will facilitate online information sessions.

To register for online information sessions, please contact the Strategic Planning team via email at strategicplanning@mountalexander.vic.gov.au or call 5471 1700.

To access the planning scheme amendment documentation visit Amendments Online or see the amendment documentation at the bottom of this page.

To find out more information about the planning scheme amendment process at Council's webpage on amendments.

How to Make a Submission

Any person who is affected by the amendment may make a written submission in relation to any part of the proposed amendment. Submissions must be made in writing via email strategicplanning@mountalexander.vic.gov.au or mail Strategic Planning Mount Alexander Shire Council, PO Box 185, Castlemaine VIC 3450. You can make a submission from now up until Monday 11 October 2021.

After the public exhibition period Council must consider all submissions received. If the matters raised within the submissions cannot be resolved, Council must appoint an independent planning panel to review and consider the outstanding issues. The Planning Panel is to provide recommendations to Council about the amendment, which may lead to changes to the amendment. Council then considers the amendment for adoption and refers it to the Minister for Planning for approval.

What consultation has occurred up until now?

A discussion paper prepared by the Strategic Planning Unit was released for public comment in November 2018. Following this, Council undertook a range of community activities to inform and engage the Harcourt community in discussions about spatial planning, residential and commercial growth and town centre activation. This included two launch events at Harcourt Bowls Club and Goldfields Track Café, drop-in sessions in Harcourt, surveys, an online interactive map that allowed users to share their ideas, a workshop with Grade 5/6 students at Harcourt Valley Primary School, and meetings and conversations with community groups, government agencies and referral authorities.

A ‘What We Heard paper’ was released in April 2019, summarising feedback from the community and stakeholders.

The Shine Harcourt Leanganook consultation process has also informed the preparation of the draft Plan Harcourt, including the Shine Harcourt Ideas-a-thon and the Ideas Lab.

The draft Plan Harcourt was released for public consultation in November 2019. Two community drop-in sessions were held in Harcourt in November and December 2019, and the project team was also available to talk about the plan at the Harcourt Twilight Market in November 2019.


For further information, please contact Council’s Strategic Planning team on (03) 5471 1700 or email info@mountalexander.vic.gov.au.

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