Macedon Ranges council is liaising with the state planning minister as it continues to try to preserve the character of the shire’s towns.

Councillors last week voted unanimously in favour of council officers seeking urgent advice from Planning Minister Richard Wynne about a heritage overlay for Macedon Ranges’ heritage assets.

Mayor Jennifer Anderson raised the motion, explaining that the minister had notified her that he was reintroducing the ability to put an interim protection over heritage sites.

This comes after the council earlier this year called on the state government to come up with a new set of planning guidelines specifically for non-metropolitan areas.

Councillor Helen Radnedge told the August council meeting that new guidelines were necessary “to protect the cultural heritage and built form character” of areas such as the Macedon Ranges.

Last week, Cr Anderson said the council’s work to achieve specific planning protections for Gisborne, New Gisborne and Kyneton was “almost at the point of a planning scheme amendment”.

But she warned the council that the area remained unprotected until the processes were completed.

“We have many sites that people see as significant around our shire and they currently don’t have protection,” Cr Anderson said.

Council officers will investigate the process to achieve a blanket interim protection in Macedon Ranges.