Structure Plan and Better Places Process

What is a Structure Plan?

A Structure Plan is a document that develops a shared vision to guide land use, built form, public space and infrastructure within in an activity centre.

Activity centres are a focus for local services, infrastructure and employment and they are places where people shop, meet and live. Planning advocates for growth to be directed to activity centres to limit the distance that people have to travel to go to work or to meet their basic needs, often referred to as the 20-minute neighbourhood principle.

The Spotswood activity centre is anticipated to grow to a large neighbourhood activity centre with key developments driving this growth. Council is preparing a Structure Plan to ensure that future growth within and around the activity centre is accommodated in an orderly and sustainable manner.

Structure Plan and Better Places Process

The Spotswood Activity Centre Structure Plan (SACSP) is informed by the Better Places Spotswood and South Kingsville project (BPSSK) as illustrated by the figure below.

Spotswood Structure Plan - Structure Plan Process

Find out more about the process of developing the SACSP by expanding the tabs below.

BPSSK is a place-based approach to working with the local Spotswood and South Kingsville community to develop a shared vision and identify projects to improve the area’s look-and-feel. The project undertook 3 phases of extensive community and stakeholder consultation during November 2020 and August 2021. On 12 October 2021, the BPSSK Place Guide was adopted by Council.

The Place Guide provides a shared community vision and identifies 4 key themes and 16 projects. The Structure Plan has considered the BPSSK consultation feedback, adopted the BPSSK vision and built on the themes to reflect land use and built form directions specifically required for the Spotswood Structure Plan area. Where relevant, the BPSSK projects have also been included in the Structure Plan.

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BPSSK looks at the suburbs of Spotswood and South Kingsville to provide a more wholistic and integrated approach to improve the area’s look-and-feel. The project considers issues and opportunities beyond land use and identifies improvement projects within the public space that do not require a regulatory change (e.g. land rezoning) and can be delivered quicker.

The Structure Plan is a long-term statutory document that will be brought into Council’s Planning Scheme for implementation. The Structure Plan sets out a framework for future land use and built form changes, and investment within and around the activity centre, including private land. This includes directing land use activities in appropriate locations, outlining built form guidelines and identifying infrastructure upgrades within and around the activity centre to support long term growth and the BPSSK vision.

In addition to BPSSK, other recent Council projects have also informed the Structure Plan. These include:

  • Spotswood and South Kingsville Local Area Movement Plan (LAMP) - The LAMP aims to improve the way the community travels through the area of Spotswood and South Kingsville via all modes of transport. The Structure Plan has embedded the road network hierarchy and many of the access and movement opportunities identified in the LAMP.

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  • Reimagining our Industrial Areas (RIA) - RIA aims to identify opportunities to transform Hobsons Bay’s industrial land over the next 10 – 15 years. The project has informed the potential industrial land opportunities in the Structure Plan.

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  • New Residential Zones via Amendment C131 – The new residential zones for Hobsons Bay were brought into the Planning Scheme in February 2022. The Structure Plan may suggest refinements to the residential zones as required to support the vision.

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Structure Plan Area

The Structure Plan area has been organised into the following five key precincts based on predominant land use:

About Spotswood

Spotswood is strategically located on the Yarra River and in close proximity to the Port and CBD. Spotswood has traditionally been home to industry, including some operations of state significance. However, some industries are transitioning or have relocated, which has provided the opportunity for urban renewal within the suburb.

The area is in transition. Local population in Spotswood and the surrounding South Kingsville area is projected to increase by around 4,000 people by 2036. Therefore, both existing and future residents require a range of local services and facilities to meet their needs.

Spotswood has distinct neighbourhoods and urban characters. West of Hall Street incorporates mainly low-scale residential areas, two large mixed-use redevelopment sites, open space and community facilities. East of Hall Street incorporates small areas of housing interspersed with small and large-scale industrial uses. Spotswood is rich in heritage, with considerable residential, commercial and industrial heritage buildings.

Spotswood has a significant industrial precinct, with a diverse mix of industrial activities. State significant petroleum terminals, resource recovery hub, manufacturing, and a mix of office and commercial business are located east of Hall Street.

There are abundant destinations in Spotswood. Scienceworks, a regionally significant museum, operated by Museums Victoria is located at the end of Hudsons Road. Scienceworks attracts state wide visitors and is also a significant local employer. Grazeland, an exciting culinary destination located south of Scienceworks, attracts visitors across Melbourne and significantly boosts the vibrancy and night-time economy in Spotswood. The area also provides a range of parks for the community to enjoy, such as the Riverside Park and Donald McLean Reserve.


Council is inviting feedback on the draft SACSP until 2 June 2022. All feedback received will be reviewed and considered by Council in the next update of the draft structure plan.

Please see figure below to learn more about the next steps and timeline.

Spotswood Structure Plan - Timeline