Applying for a Planning Permit

A planning permit is a legal document giving permission to develop or use a piece of land for a specific purpose. A permit may also contain written conditions and endorsed plans showing the proposed development or use of land. To obtain a permit, an application is made to Council, and it is assessed to ensure that the provisions of the Planning Scheme are met.

If you propose to use or develop land or change the existing use of a property, you should discuss your proposal in detail with a member of our planning team. Early discussions will confirm whether permits are necessary, and, if so, what kind of permits may be required.

The planning permit application process is regulated by the Planning and Environment Act 1987. It involves various steps, depending on the nature and complexity of the development. It can also involve various stakeholders, including local authorities such as the Catchment Management Authority, the CFA and VicRoads as well as nearby residents.

These are the key steps in the planning permit application process:
  • Determine whether a planning permit is required: contact Council’s Planning Department to determine whether a planning permit is required for the use or development you want to do. Even a building project that seems minor could need a planning permit, so it’s always wise to check with Council before you start any works, demolition or vegetation removal or lopping.
  • Apply for a planning permit: this involves providing certain information to Council, including an application form, fee, copy of Title, plans and other supporting documentation. Once you have lodged your planning permit application, you will receive a letter from Council to tell you which Council Officer is dealing with your application.
  • Further information: the Council Officer will determine if any additional information is required as part of the application. If additional information is required, you will be sent a letter outlining the outstanding requirements and given a timeframe (usually 28 days) in which to provide the required information.
  • Referrals: the Council Officer will determine if the application needs to be referred to local authorities, such as the Catchment Management Authority, the CFA and VicRoads. The advice provided by the referral authority has to be considered by Council in making a final decision on the application. The permit applicant will automatically be sent a copy of any referral advice given. The Council Officer will also determine whether any internal referrals need to be undertaken. For instance, from the Assets team if a new crossover or driveway is proposed, or the Environmental Health team if a residential development is proposed on un-sewered land.
  • Public Notification (advertising): the Council Officer will determine if the application needs to be put on public notification (sometimes called advertising).
    If the application needs to be put on public notification, Council will contact you to arrange for the payment of an administrative fee. You may also be required to display a sign on the site for 14 days. Letters will be sent by Council to nearby affected property owners.
  • Objections: anyone who is affected by the application may view a copy of the application, and lodge an objection in writing with Council. An objection form is available here. If objections are received, Council will provide you with a copy. Sometimes, objectors’ concerns can be addressed through negotiations between Council, the permit applicant and objector/s. If all concerns are addressed an objection can be withdrawn.
  • Decision: if no objections are received, the Council Officer will make a decision on the application and either issue a planning permit or a Notice of Decision to Refuse a planning permit. You will receive a copy of the decision in the mail. If an objection is received, the Council Officer will make a recommendation to the Councillors who will make a decision on the application.
    The Councillors may determine to issue a Notice of Decision to Grant a planning permit or a Notice of Decision to refuse a planning permit. The permit application and all objectors will receive a copy of the decision in the mail.
  • Review of the decision: objectors have 21 days from the granting of a Notice of Decision to Grant a planning permit in which to appeal the decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), if they are aggrieved by Council’s decision. The permit applicant has 60 days from the granting of a Planning Permit in which to appeal any conditions of the permit to VCAT, if they are aggrieved by any of the conditions. In the event that a Notice of Decisions to Refuse a planning permit is issued, the permit applicant has 60 days in which to appeal that decision to VCAT.
    More information regarding VCAT can be found here
  • Amending a planning permit: if you need to change an approved development, including what is shown on the endorsed plans or what is allowed by conditions on the permit, you can apply to amend the permit. More information about this process is available here.
More information about the planning permit application process can be obtained from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s website. You can also call our Planning team on 1800 065 993.
What you need to provide with your application:
  • Your completed application form (if not applying online)
  • One copy of your scaled and dimensioned plans which clearly show all proposed changes; and
  • A short, written summary of the proposed changes
    If you do not provide all of the above, we may not be able to process the application. You may also be asked to provide more information to help us assess your application.
What happens next?

You should receive an acknowledgement letter about 1-2 weeks after we receive your application. After this time, a planning officer will review the application and let you know if any further info is needed.

The time it takes for a decision to be made depends on many factors, such as whether we need further information and how simple or complex your application is.

Forms:

Secondary Consent
You should apply for a secondary consent if all of the following conditions are met:
  • You only want to make minor changes to the approved plans
  • The proposed change only involves amendments to the plans, and does not conflict with or require changes to the permit description or conditions; and
  • The proposed change is minor and would not require advertising
Fee (2021-22): secondary consent application fee: $187
What you need to provide with your application:
  • Your completed application form (if not applying online)
  • 1 (one) copy of scaled and dimensioned plans which clearly show all proposed changes.
  • A short, written summary of the proposed changes.

If you do not provide all of the above, we may not be able to process the application.
You may be asked to provide more information to help us assess your application.

What happens next?

You should receive an acknowledgement letter about 1 to 2 weeks after we receive your application. After this time, a planning officer will review the application and let you know if any further info is needed.

The time it takes for a decision to be made depends on many factors, such as whether we need further information and how simple or complex your application is.

Permit Amendment

You should apply to amend a planning permit if you want to change:

  • the uses allowed by the permit
  • the conditions of your permit
  • the statement of what the permit allows; or
  • to make significant changes to the approved plans

The process for applying to amend a planning permit is similar to applying for a new permit. This is because the proposed amendment may need to be advertised if we think it could impact other people. It also might need to be approved by other statutory bodies, such as the Country Fire Authority (CFA) or Goulburn Murray Water (GMW).

Fees are set by the Victorian Government. See the fees by clicking here.
What you need to provide with your application:
  • An application form
  • A recent copy of title documents (including plan of subdivision and any restrictions). These documents must be obtained and dated no earlier than 3 months before you submit your application
  • One copy of your scaled and dimensioned plans which clearly show all proposed changes
  • A short written summary of the proposed changes
  • Receipt of fees paid

If you do not provide all of the above, we may not be able to process your application. You may also be asked to provide more information to help us assess the application.

Need assistance? Please download our how to guide on amending a planning permit or contact our Customer Service Team on 1800 065 993

What happens next?

You should receive an acknowledgement letter about 1-2 weeks after we receive your application. After this time, a planning officer will review the application and let you know if any further info is needed. The time it takes for a decision to be made depends on many factors, such as whether we need further information, whether there are any objections and how simple or complex your application is.