Planning and Development Law

Subject LAWS70349 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

November, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start 02-Nov-2016
Teaching Period 30-Nov-2016 to 06-Dec-2016
Assessment Period End 27-Feb-2017
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Nov-2016
Census Date 30-Nov-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 20-Jan-2017

This subject has a quota of 30 students. Please refer to the Melbourne Law Masters website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24-26 hours
Total Time Commitment:

136-150 hours

The pre-teaching period commences four weeks before the subject commencement date. From this time, students are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.


Melbourne Law Masters Students: None

JD Students: Successful completion of all the below subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact Student Equity and Disability Support.


Mr Barnaby Chessell



Mr Barnaby Chessell (Coordinator)
Mr Adrian Finanzio SC

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

This subject examines the law applicable to planning and development projects within Victoria. A detailed analysis of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic) and its application will be supplemented by an examination of the various political and economic aspects that are continually at play in the Victorian Planning Regime. The subject will also address the interaction of the Victorian Planning Regime with a number of other statutory processes relevant to the development of land within Victoria, such as those contained within the Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic), the Subdivision Act 1988 (Vic), and the Building Act 1993 (Vic).

A key component of the subject will be a case study concerning a hypothetical development proposal.

Principal topics include:

  • The conceptual framework for planning law in Victoria
  • Economic and political theories that attempt to explain why, and how, planning law governs the control of land in cities and suburbs, for whose benefit, and at whose cost
  • Evaluation of the various components of the Victorian planning regime, focusing on the operation of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic) and the Victoria Planning Provisions
  • The role of key actors under the Victorian planning regime (such as the Victorian Minister for Planning and municipal councils) and the key processes established under the regime
  • The review of decisions made under the regime (both in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and the Supreme Court of Victoria) and the powers available to relevant planning authorities under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic)
  • Particular problems that plague the Victorian planning system such as the fair and equitable distribution of undesirable land uses, the limitation of urban sprawl within metropolitan Melbourne, the appropriate level of public participation in decision-making processes and the need to deliver sound planning outcomes in a timely and efficient manner
  • The interaction of the Planning and Environmental Act 1987 (Vic) and the Building Act 1993 (Vic).
Learning Outcomes:

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Understand the operation of the key components of the Victorian planning regime
  • Appreciate the role played by different actors within the Victorian planning regime (such as the Minister for Planning, local governments, developers and objectors)
  • Be familiar with the nature, scope and operation of the various avenues for review of decisions made under the Victorian planning regime
  • Understand how the Victorian planning regime interacts with other statutory processes, including those contained within the Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic), the Environmental Effects Act 1978 (Vic), the Subdivision Act 1988 (Vic) and the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 (Vic)
  • Appreciate different historical and theoretical underpinnings of planning law.
  • Class participation (10%)
  • 2,500 word (maximum) advisory report (15%) (due 16 January 2017)
  • 7,500 word research paper on a topic approved by the subject coordinator (75 %) (due 27 February 2017)

A minimum of 75% attendance is a hurdle requirement.

Prescribed Texts:

Specialist printed materials will be made available free of charge from the Melbourne Law School prior to the pre-teaching period.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Construction Law
Graduate Diploma in Energy and Resources Law
Graduate Diploma in Environmental Law
Graduate Diploma in Government Law
Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies
Juris Doctor
Master of Commercial Law
Master of Construction Law
Master of Energy and Resources Law
Master of Environmental Law
Master of Law and Development
Master of Laws
Master of Public and International Law
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Tailored Specialisation

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