Deans Creek PSP Project

Project Introduction

Colac Otway Shire in partnership with the Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) and Regional Development Victoria (RDV) are commencing work on a Precinct Structure Plan for the Deans Creek Growth Area.

The Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) will be a plan for the future development of the area, and will accommodate much of Colac’s residential development for the next 30 years.  

The outcome of the PSP process will be rezoned, developable urban land, with the PSP setting out the form that future development will take. 

The Deans Creek Growth Area

The Colac 2050 Growth Plan identifies land at the western edge of Colac as suitable for expansion of the township.  This area is known as the Deans Creek Growth Area, and has a land area of approximately 477 hectares, and upon completion of development, could accommodate up to 5,700 dwellings. 

 Deans Creek Precinct Aerial Map(PDF, 1MB) 

Project Funding and Agency Roles

The Deans Creek PSP is a 4-year project, with funding committed by Colac Otway Shire, Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) and Regional Development Victoria (RDV). 

The VPA will have a key advisory role in the preparation of the PSP, being a State Government statutory authority that reports to the Minister for Planning, and tasked with working closely with Councils to implement the directions of planning for growth areas in both metropolitan and regional contexts.  Council was successful in a grant application under the VPA Streamlining for Growth program. 

RDV will be part of the Project Steering Committee which will monitor the project and ensure that it achieves its prescribed objectives and delivers benefits to the Colac community.  Council has been successful in securing funding from the Victorian Government’s Investment Fast-Track Fund, which provides support to rural and regional projects to strengthen their investment evidence base by funding activities that support planning and preparation in order to fast-track projects to investment ready stage.

Funding for the project is as follows:

  •   Regional Development Victoria - $425,000
  •   Colac Otway Shire -  $300,000
  •   Victorian Planning Authority -  $150,000

What is a Precinct Structure Plan?

A PSP is a land use and infrastructure plan that guides the future development of an area.  The Deans Creek PSP will comprise:

  • An urban structure plan:  This plan is the overall framework that provides direction on the location of future land uses (such as schools, housing, and employment), transport networks, open space and supporting infrastructure). 
  • A Development Contributions Plan (DCP):  The DCP is an infrastructure funding plan that sets out requirements on the developer/s to contribute towards the provision of the infrastructure required to service the new community.  The DCP is prepared alongside the urban framework and is a key document in the implementation of the PSP.  

Why does the Deans Creek Growth Area need a Precinct Structure Plan?

The Deans Creek Growth Area has been identified in the Colac 2050 Growth Plan as the priority growth area for the Shire, and will accommodate most of the residential growth in the Shire for the next 30 years.  The PSP will ensure that the future use and development of the land occurs in an efficient way, and ensure that the required infrastructure is provided to serve the new community. 

The PSP is underpinned by a rigorous assessment process, where the technical investigations that establish the land’s suitability for development are undertaken before the land is rezoned.  This allows for the constraints and opportunities across the entire precinct to be known and planned for in the PSP, therefore reducing the number of potential complexities that may be encountered at the planning permit application stage. 

How will the PSP be implemented?

Once the draft Precinct Structure Plan has been prepared, an amendment to the Colac Otway Planning Scheme will be undertaken, to incorporate the PSP and DCP into the scheme.  The amendment would also seek to rezone the land to Urban Growth Zone (UGZ).   Once rezoned, landowners will be able to apply for the required planning permits to develop their land, in the form guided the PSP.   Developers would also be required, as part of any permits, to contribute towards the provision of the required infrastructure to service the new community.  Contributions could comprise a monetary contribution, provision of land, or provision of works-in-kind (developer constructs the infrastructure).   Details of the contributions, the amounts and the specific items to be funded, will all be set out in the DCP.  Council will have a lead role in the implementation of the PSP, in partnership with the relevant agencies. 

What role will the community have in the preparation of the Precinct Structure Plan? 

The PSP process includes opportunity for the community, including landowners and affected residents and ratepayers, to have direct input into the preparation of the plan.  A number of workshops will be held through the course of the plan preparation, and will allow the community to provide ideas and knowledge to inform the vision and direction that the plan will take, and to for this information to be incorporated into the framework. 

How can I be involved in the planning for the Deans Creek Growth Area?

Council is seeking the community’s views, to assist in developing a vision for the future urban area.  The following are opportunities to be involved:

     Information Session (open to landowners and residents of the Deans Creek Growth Area)

     When:  Monday 7th November 2022 from 5.30pm (drop-in any time between 5.30pm – 7.00pm)

     Where:  COPACC Civic Hall

     Pitching Sessions (open to landowners of the Deans Creek Growth Area)

     When: Monday 5 December (by appointment)

     Where: Contact Council for venue arrangements

     Survey (open to all)

     You are invited to participate in a survey, which is open until the 16th December 2022.

      A print-out version of the survey is available below:

     Survey - Printable(PDF, 44KB)


The attached newsletter contains further information about the purpose of the sessions, including how to prepare for the pitching sessions.

Deans Creek PSP Newsletter(PDF, 6MB)

Deans Creek PSP Project Timeline(PDF, 1MB)