Defining a Structure Plan

Defining a structure plan

A structure plan is a framework to guide the development or redevelopment of an area by defining the future development and land use patterns, areas of open space, the layout and nature of infrastructure (including transportation links), and other key features and constraints that influence how the effects of development are to be managed.

Structure plans comprise one or more maps, plans or diagrammatic representations of the proposed layout, features, character and links for areas being developed or redeveloped. The maps or plans in structure plans do not typically go into such detail as to define individual lot boundaries or the physical form of buildings and structures. The maps, plans or representations are usually supported by text explaining the background to the issues that initiated the structure plan and the approaches to manage those issues.

Issues that may be managed through a structure plan include:

  • urban consolidation and greenfield expansion
  • the type and location of land uses that will be permitted, including development type, density and staging
  • multi-modal transport links and connectivity (such as roading, rail, sea and air links, public transport, cycle and pedestrian access)
  • the location, type, scale and staging of infrastructure required to service an area, including stormwater, water and sewerage
  • integration of new development and growth with infrastructure and existing urban development
  • landscape character and amenity
  • reserves and open space networks
  • natural hazards
  • the provision of community facilities
  • the protection of sites, features or values (which may be cultural, ecological, historical or amenity related)
  • areas of contamination
  • provision and location of network utilities.

There are various terms used to describe the general structure plan process, including Master Planning, Development Framework Plan etc. While the nature of these plans may differ slightly depending on the primary focus and scale of the plan, the overall structure planning analysis process is largely the same.