Gisborne and New Gisborne

Gisborne Futures

The Gisborne Futures project is a sustainable vision for how Gisborne will grow and develop into the future.

We are looking at where you shop and where you live, how you use parks and open space, transport options, what community facilities and infrastructure might be required, how waterways are managed and what your needs might be for all of these things into the future.

Community consultation and feedback

Feedback on phase 3 of the Gisborne Futures project closed at 5pm on Monday 14 September 2020. All project information, plans and supporting documentation is available to view on the closed consultation page.

We thank local residents and community agencies for sharing their views. The project team will review all recent submissions, survey results and other comments received before presenting a modified version of the draft plans to the community for a further round of consultation next year. Further consultation will also be required on any amendments to the planning scheme based on Gisborne Futures.

For project enquiries, contact Strategic Planning on (03) 5422 0333 or email

About the project

The Gisborne Futures project presents:

  • A sustainable vision for Gisborne and direction for the town that is consistent with state and local policy directions.
  • A framework to manage urban development and growth opportunities and provide sustainable outcomes. These include social, community and physical infrastructure for existing and future residents.
  • A township boundary that protects the environmental and rural qualities of the landscape surrounding Gisborne while providing sufficient land to accommodate growth for the next 30 years.
  • Design directions for landscape, built form and public spaces that maintains and enhances Gisborne’s village town character.
  • A Neighbourhood Character study that will guide new housing and protect the distinctive semi-rural “feel” of the area.

Background summary

Our draft Gisborne Futures Structure Plan, Urban Design Framework and Neighbourhood Character Study have been developed based on expert advice, best practice planning and urban design principles and community feedback gathered through previous phases of consultation.

The project also aims to improve and manage vehicle, cycle and pedestrian traffic, enable economic development and future employment opportunities, provide for open space linkages and to protect important views and landscape features.

To strengthen integrated planning outcomes, we included further work on the Gisborne Business Park expansion area into Gisborne Futures in December 2019. Council will consider the Gisborne Business Park and as part of the implementation of Gisborne Futures project.

At the 24 June 2020 Ordinary Council Meeting, Council endorsed the draft Gisborne Structure Plan, draft Gisborne Urban Design Framework and draft Gisborne Neighbourhood Character Study for community consultation. The agenda(PDF, 1MB) and minutes(PDF, 692KB) from the 24 June 2020 meeting are available to view.

Land located east of the township at 284 Kilmore Road, Gisborne, known as Glen Junor, is now included in proposed settlement area of the draft Gisborne Structure Plan.

For community consultation purposes, the opportunity to establish more shops and services east of the existing town boundary has been identified on this land in the draft Gisborne Structure Plan

Why are we doing this?

Gisborne is an attractive regional township close to Melbourne that is identified in State Planning Policy as a peri-urban centre with capacity for growth. We are seeking ways to increase housing diversity, choice and affordability and better cater for a changing and growing community.

We are implementing the necessary planning tools to protect Gisborne’s neighbourhood and landscape character values.

In recent years population growth has exceeded the level anticipated in the Gisborne/New Gisborne Outline Development Plan (ODP) from 2009, and the introduction of protected settlement boundaries through the Statement of Planning Policy has initiated the need to review the township plan.

Long-term township planning is a responsibility of Council to its community and the State Government.

We plan now so residential and commercial growth is innovative, sustainable and able to provide positive outcomes for the Gisborne township and community. We are also working to make sure developments contribute financially to fund community and infrastructure upgrades in line with the rate of population growth.

The Gisborne Futures project will set a protected urban settlement boundary for Gisborne and identify future land uses for retail, employment, housing, and community services to meet the growing needs of the town.

The project also aims to improve and manage vehicle, cycle and pedestrian traffic, enable economic development, provide for open space linkages and to protect important views, landscape features and the valued qualities of existing residential areas.  

What you have told us so far

The draft Gisborne Futures plans are based on feedback received during extensive community consultation including the ‘Issues and Opportunities’ and ‘Emerging Ideas’ phases in 2018 and 2019, and also includes feedback received through the Gisborne Business Park (2019) and the Neighbourhood Character Study (2017) consultations.

You have told us about:

  • The importance of retaining and protecting the semi-rural ‘feel’ and character of the town;
  • Your concerns regarding growth and development;
  • The importance of protecting heritage features, open spaces and landscapes of the town;
  • The need for pedestrian and cycle safety and infrastructure improvements;
  • The importance of traffic movement throughout the town;
  • How economic development should occur through support for local business;
  • The need for future residential development to prioritise affordability and choice, while also minimising dependence on cars by providing easy access to connecting pathways and public transport:
  • Your support for local shops and services outside the town centre; and
  • The need to improve community infrastructure and facilities.

Stay informed

You can also register your details to receive regular email updates about the project. 

If you have any questions, contact Strategic Planning on (03) 5422 0333 or email

Gisborne Business Park Development Plan

We have been preparing a masterplan for expansion of the Gisborne Business Park. The plan provided for more land for industrial and commercial uses to support economic growth and jobs in Gisborne and across the shire.

The Draft Business Park Development Plan was exhibited to the community in February 2019. A number of submissions were made regarding traffic, township character and urban design, environmental conditions and the potential heritage values of Woiwurrung Cottage at 111 Saunders Road, New Gisborne. These submissions were considered at the 22 May 2019 Ordinary Council Meeting. The agenda(PDF, 1006KB) and minutes(PDF, 229KB) from the meeting are available to view.

At the 18 December 2019 Ordinary Council Meeting, Council resolved to further consider the Gisborne Business Park Development Plan as part of the Gisborne Futures project.

The resolution was that Council:

  1. Resolve to further consider the Gisborne Futures Business Park Development Plan as part of the Gisborne Futures project.
  2. Resolve to inform submitters to the Gisborne Business Park Development Plan of this decision.

The agenda(PDF, 1MB) and minutes(PDF, 589KB) from the 18 December 2019 meeting are available to view.

This will allow the project to be considered holistically as part of the overall planning for Gisborne as a regional centre.

A revised Business Park Masterplan has since been prepared and will now be presented as part of the Draft Gisborne Futures Plan.  

Gisborne Futures is the first major new planning document developed for the town since the Gisborne Outline Development Plan (ODP) was adopted in 2009 and the previous town centre UDF was prepared in 2008. Since that time, township growth and demographics has changed and it is time to review and update the existing plan to ensure they remain current and relevant.

Gisborne Movement Network Study

The 2016 Gisborne Movement Network Study examines the existing and future impact of various modes of traffic on the road and footpath networks in Gisborne.

Following public consultation in late 2016, Council approved the study in February 2017 for use as a reference document for future infrastructure planning investigations relating to traffic and transport within the Gisborne township.

Willowbank Road Development Plan 

What is a development plan

A development plan is a planning document that must be prepared for land covered by a Development Plan Overlay within a Planning Scheme.

It can consist of written text, plans and drawings.

It sets out the vision and land use strategy for the development of a site, while responding to the attributes, character and context of the site and its rela­tionship with surrounding land and other proposed develop­ments. It provides detail on what is intended for the future including how that intended development will be implemented, and ensures that the proposed use, development and/or subdivision is viewed in a holistic manner.  

VCAT Decision 

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has approved a development plan for residential land at 39 Willowbank Road, Gisborne. 

Council refused the development plan at its Ordinary Council Meeting in June 2019, citing concerns with appropriateness of the lot sizes, the increase in traffic and impact on local roads, impact on local infrastructure and township character.

The decision followed negotiation between Council, VCAT and the developer during the hearing in late August 2019.    

VCAT made a number of decisions on the matter:

The final amended development plan includes:

  • a state primary school site, to be delivered during Stage 1
  • a reduction in the number of new lots – from 711 to 615 
  • an increase in the average lot size to approximately 680 square metres
  • all lots in the western part of the site to be over 500m2 with boundaries aligning to existing housing
  • road and footpath upgrades adjoining the site
  • larger lots along the interfaces of Brooking and Willowbank Roads, Calder Freeway and the internal connector road to reflect the semi-rural township character of Gisborne
  • new public open space adjoining the primary school
  • a network of open space/drainage reserves that will allow for walking and cycling through the site
  • earth mounding along the interface of the Calder Freeway to reflect the semi-rural township character of Gisborne.

The final endorsed Development Plan(PDF, 4MB) is now available. A copy of the Subdivision Layout Plan(PDF, 1MB) is also available.  

A planning permit has been lodged to subdivide the land and begin the process of development. A planning permit must be generally in accordance with the development plan.

Gisborne Development Contributions Plan

It is important that public infrastructure keeps pace with future growth and activity. As public infrastructure is expensive, Council requires developers to pay a levy to help pay a share of the costs of planned public infrastructure. 

The Gisborne Development Contributions Plan ensures that developers of residential, commercial and industrial zoned land in Gisborne will pay a share of the planned public infrastructure in the town. It applies to all new residential, commercial and industrial developments in Gisborne.

New Gisborne Development Plan

C67 Part 2

Amendment C67, Part 2 implemented the New Gisborne Development Plan into the planning scheme. It was approved by the Minister for Planning on 11 April 2013.

Council formally adopted the New Gisborne Development Plan (August 2012) at its Ordinary Council Meeting of 26 March 2014. It was developed by Council, land owners and consultants Hansen Partnership for the development of 60 hectares of land located south of the rail line and west of Station Road, New Gisborne. It shows the location of future housing, roads, open space, walking and cycling routes and commercial development. The plan has considered traffic and drainage issues and preserves existing native flora and fauna, and local character and is sympathetic to the adjacent racecourse reserve.  

Amendment C67, Part 2 rezoned the New Gisborne Growth Area (located west of Station Road and south of the railway line), for residential development and applied the Development Plan Overlay Schedule 16 to the land. It also rezoned Lot 1 TP 863037, Sauer Road (7 hectares) in Gisborne Industrial Estate for industrial development.

Brett Lane and Associates Pty Ltd prepared a Conservation Management Plan (December 2013) for the New Gisborne Growth Area to meet the requirements of the Development Plan Overlay. It was prepared in consultation with the Department of Environment and Primary Industries. Council endorsed the Conversation Management Plan at its meeting of 26 March 2014.

To view approved documentation visit Browse Amendments through the planning section of Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Then into the search bar type "C067Pt2", scroll down to find Macedon Ranges to view the details of the amendment.

Gisborne Neighbourhood Character Study

My street, my neighbourhood, my town 

What is happening?

Council commenced a neighbourhood character study to help manage change in Gisborne’s residential areas and to ensure the characteristics most valued by the community are protected and enhanced via appropriate planning controls in the planning scheme.


Gisborne (including New Gisborne) is a large town with a range of facilities, infrastructure and services, with strong links to Melbourne. The Victorian Government has earmarked Gisborne for growth, and it is expected the town will grow from a large district town to a regional centre by 2036.

Key challenges accommodating the anticipated growth involves balancing township change with the community’s desire to maintain the town’s established semi-rural feel. Council’s planning scheme is one of many mechanisms that plays an important role to help ensure that future development enhances the character of the area.

What is neighbourhood character?

Neighbourhood character is the look and feel of an area. It is made up of a combination of the design and era of buildings, building citing, subdivision patterns, topography, landscaping and street design. Some of these things can be managed through the planning scheme.

What is the scope of the study?

In scope:

  • Areas zoned for residential purposes: i.e. General Residential Zone (GRZ) and Low Density Residential Zone—located within the township boundary of Gisborne (see map)
  • The character of residential zoned areas. This includes the character of streetscapes as viewed from the public realm as well as backyard character experienced from the private realm.
  • Non-residential uses and buildings within residential zoned areas
  • Impact of public realm infrastructure & landscapes on determining neighbourhood character: i.e. curb and channel, footpaths, nature strips and street trees.

Out of scope:

  • Areas zoned for commercial, public use or other non-residential purposes
  • Rezoning land within the Low Density Residential Zone
  • The provision or character of parks and gardens
  • General amenity issues such as overshadowing and overlooking
  • Developing design guidelines for public spaces, including nature strips and street trees
  • Traffic and car parking
  • Development of neighbourhood character guidelines for undeveloped, “greenfield” areas
  • A planning scheme amendment to introduce the recommended planning controls is not part of this project.

Community input

It is important that the community inform the identification of valued character elements and are actively involved in setting the preferred future character of their neighbourhoods.

Council developed a comprehensive engagement program and sought community input between 14 February and 16 March 2016, that included three workshops, an online survey and a door knock survey.


Since commencing the study, Council received funding to review the Gisborne Structure Plan and Gisborne Town Centre Urban Design Framework.

Given that neighbourhood character planning controls might have an impact on the ability of residential precincts to suitably accommodate future housing, it is appropriate for the neighbourhood character study to be completed in the context of the strategic planning for Gisborne.

The status of the review process can be viewed here: Review of Gisborne Structure Plan & Urban Design Framework


If you have any questions, call Strategic Planning on (03) 5422 0333 or email

Media Releases

Council is urging local residents to get involved and share their views during consultation on Gisborne Futures – a sustainable vision for how this regional township will grow and develop in the future.