THE state government has officially locked a swelling population out of key land around Kyneton.
The planning protections are designed to stop "distinctive" environmental and historical areas of the Macedon Ranges being eaten into by urban sprawl.
More people are moving to the region, especially from Melbourne as that city's population booms.
Kyneton, Lancefield, Riddells Creek and Woodend's settlement boundaries are now protected by the state and need an act of parliament to amend, planning minister Richard Wynne said.
"It speaks to how this whole region will be developed over the next 30, 40 and 50 years to protect the beautiful environment we have here," he said.
"Yes, we can have development here, but development in specific places."
Work continues on Gisborne and Romsey's plans, Mr Wynne said.
"There's still work to be done but we think this really sets the benchmark for further distinctive landscapes," he said.