Archived site – Last updated in May 2017

Masterplanning explained

30 June 2016

 Masterplanning is a big part of what we do but we often forget to explain what it is.

What is masterplanning?
Masterplanning on government land is a big part of what we do. It’s a process to understand how to create a great neighbourhood where people will enjoy living, visiting and working in the future – and then to recommend planning controls that make this happen. Community engagement alongside a range of technical studies are undertaken and used to create a masterplan, which is essentially a map that shows where new streets, parks, community facilities, shops, offices and residential buildings could be placed and their heights.

How is a masterplan created?
A large amount of research is used to create a masterplan. Studies are undertaken to understand where and how people need to go for work, shopping and recreation. Studies also show, for example, important local buildings, meeting places, community facilities and infrastructure. Many more studies are included, which help planners develop the masterplan. The community is also engaged to provide feedback on many aspects of the plan.

What is NOT involved in masterplanning?
The architectural design of individual buildings is not included in masterplanning. However, the masterplan provides guidelines that will influence the building’s design. For example, a masterplan will indicate how far a building should be setback, where building entrances should be placed and how each level of the building should be used.

What happens after the masterplan is created?
The draft masterplan is sent to the Department of Planning and Environment for detailed review. The Department asks for further community feedback and may require changes to the masterplan. When the Department is satisfied, it can recommend the site’s rezoning by the Minister for Planning (in accordance with the masterplan). Following rezoning, future developers may submit development applications to build the buildings, parks and community facilities that are outlined in the masterplan.

If you have any further questions get in touch with our team by emailing

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