There are many different types of planning documents that are prepared by Local Councils and the State Government. They are usually revised periodically to adapt to the changing needs of residents, businesses and other stakeholders. Sometimes the period between reviews is a couple of years and sometimes it may be over ten years.
The document types shown below include sections that have a material impact on the cycling environment and should therefore be reviewed by a bicycle advocate. The advocate can then provide useful information to Government on the good and bad aspects of the plan to reinforce and commend good planning and to correct bad planning.
Read more below about each type of planning document.
A Bicycle Plan or Bicycle Strategy document is the primary planning instrument used by Local Councils to define how they will provide for bicycle users.
Bicycle Plans usually include:
How to Prepare a Bicycle Plan
The RMS has prepared a document to provide information to Local Councils, Bicycle User Groups and professional planners who are involved in preparing a Bicycle Plan.
Click here to download the How to Prepare a Bike Plan document.
Find Your Council Bike Plan
The State Government maintains this web page which includes a list of current Bicycle Plans from many Local Councils. If your Council does not have its Bicycle Plan on this list, ask them why not.
A Development Control Plan (DCP) is a non-legal document that provides specific, comprehensive guidelines for certain types of development or certain areas within a Local Government Area. The detailed guidelines contained within a DCP are in addition to the provisions of the legal planning instrument (SEPP, REP or LEP). DCPs are important in the planning system because they provide a flexible means of identifying additional development controls and standards for addressing development issues without the need for a formal statutory plan.
Vision and Objectives
A DCP will have a section that sets out the vision of the plan. Does this vision include objectives that relate to the use of bicycles for a variety of transport and recreational purposes.
A DCP will have a section dedicated to the Public Domain or Urban Structure. This section covers a variety of topics that have an impact on bicycle users such as public transport access, design of the street network, open space provisions and active transport provisions.
Public Transport points of interest:
Street Network points of interest:
Active Transport points of interest:
Open Space points of interest:
Schools and Childcare points of interest:
A Management Plan is the Council’s primary corporate planning document. It outlines the activities and priorities for the next year, thus influencing the Operating Budget and Resources Plan.
Councils are required by law to prepare an Annual Management Plan and Budget and to fulfill the following obligations:
Normally, Councils release their Management Plan for public exhibition around May each year. The public exhibition period (at least 28 days) provides an opportunity for Bicycle User Groups and other interested parties to make submissions.
Council may make the documents available from their Council Chambers, at local libraries or on their website. Some Councils have a public meeting at which they present the main points and field questions. To discuss the Management Plan with Council, it is best to speak to a Corporate Planner or the person who prepares the Council Budget. You can also discuss the Management Plan with Councillors.
The budget (or “Resources Plan”) should show the allocation for each project for this year, last year and the next two years. For this year, it should also show other sources of funding for that allocation, for example, from grants (from RMS, Federal Roads to Recovery, Sport & Rec, etc) or from Section 94 (developer) contributions.
If you want to have some input into the council budget and annual plan, then it is a good idea to be aware of the annual timeline for preparation and delivery of the budget.