Business permits

Whether you plan to open a new business, have bought a business, or are looking to expand an existing one, you are likely to require one or more permits before you commence trading.

It is important to plan ahead as this process can take anywhere from a week for a single permit to many months for more complex applications. The four key stages of the permit approval process are outlined below.

Before submitting an application you can also contact our Business Engagement Coordinator for a confidential discussion on your ideas on (03) 5321 6105 or email business@hepburn.vic.gov.au.

Prepare

Ensure you have all the necessary information to apply for the permits you need:

Step one

Complete the self-assessment tool

Step two

Review the relevant permit information

Step three

Organise a pre-application meeting with Council to get advice on your plans.

Self-assessment

As a first step, we encourage you to spend 3 minutes to complete the Business Permit Self-Assessment Tool that will identify the permit/s you may need.

Complete a self-assessment form 

Following your self-assessment, you may choose for our Business Engagement Coordinator to contact you to discuss your ideas and requirements in more detail. You can also contact our Business Engagement Coordinator for a confidential discussion on your ideas on (03) 5321 6105 or email business@hepburn.vic.gov.au

Apply

After your self assessment you can apply for the required permits using the following links:

Planning permit

Building permit

For all other business permits or registrations see information in below categories.

Assessment

Once you have paid the relevant assessment fees, Council will assess your application. You may be contacted if Council requires further information to assess you application.

Approval

You will receive a notification from Council once a decision has been made on your permit application/s. Once all the necessary permits have been approved, you are permitted to start trading.

Accommodation business

Several types of businesses providing accommodation services need to be registered annually under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act to ensure basic hygiene standards are met.

Council register and monitor businesses such as:

  • Residential accommodation
  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Hostels
  • Student dormitories
  • Holiday camps
  • Rooming houses
  • Some bed and breakfast operations.

You do not require registration if your business operates any of the following:

  • A house under the exclusive occupation of the occupier
  • A self-contained flat under the exclusive occupation of the occupier
  • Public hospitals, nursing home or health services establishments (registered)
  • Retirement villages
  • Premises in which, other than the family of the proprietor, not more than five persons are accommodated, and which is not a rooming house
  • Temporary crisis accommodation.

Annual inspections are carried out by Council’s Environmental Health Officers to assess compliance with the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations, covering:

  • Cleanliness
  • Structural maintenance
  • Condition of rooms and overcrowding
  • Water supply
  • Sewerage and wastewater
  • Sanitary facilities
  • Waste disposal
  • Pest control.

Please note, if you are intending to provide food at the premises, you will need to apply for food-related registrations as well. See the food business section below.

Relevant links

Application for Registration for Prescribed Accommodation (may also need food registration and/or registration of a food premises - see food business tab below)

Apply to Transfer registration of Prescribed Accommodation Premises(PDF, 88KB)

Advertising signage

The control of advertising signage is very important as signage can impact on landscape, streetscape, amenity and traffic management and safety. Clause 52.05 of the Planning Scheme outlines the controls relating to advertising signs. These provisions are consistent across the state and specify four different categories of advertising signs:

  • Category 1 applies to business areas
  • Category 2 applies to office and industrial
  • Category 3 applies to high amenity areas
  • Category 4 applies to sensitive areas.

Each category identifies advertising signs that do not require a planning permit, those that do require a permit, and those that are prohibited. As you move from Category 1 to Category 4, the level of control over advertising signs increases.

The zoning of the land, or an overlay control affecting the land (such as the Design and Development Overlay) identifies the category of advertising sign control that is applicable to the land. If there is a conflict between the category specified in the zone and an applicable overlay, then the more stringent control prevails.

Please note that moveable signboards or A-frames are classed as temporary signage, and do not need a Planning application. However, a Footpath trading and outdoor dining permit is required. Find out how to apply under Footpath Trading (below). 

Certain types of signs, such as traffic signs and “for sale” signs located on the land for sale, do not require a planning permit under specific circumstances, regardless of the category of advertising signage applicable to the land.

Therefore, whether a planning permit is required or not for the erection and display of advertising signage is dependent upon the location of your property, the zoning and types of overlay that apply to the land, and the type and form of advertising signage sought to be displayed.

Due to the complexity of the controls relating to advertising signage within the Hepburn Planning Scheme, it is imperative that you confirm permit and information requirements with Council’s Planning Unit before you erect and display any advertising signs. Please note that substantial penalties apply for the erection and display of any illegal advertising signs.

Clause 52.05 of the Planning Scheme contains decision guidelines that should be considered when assessing an application for advertising signage. Below is a summary of the decision guidelines that should be addressed by the applicant when preparing a planning permit application:

  • The character of the area
  • Impacts on views and vistas
  • The relationship to the streetscape, setting or landscape
  • The relationship to the site and building. Signs should not detract from the appearance of a building on which they may be displayed
  • The impact of structures associated with the sign
  • The construction, design and quality of signs
  • The impact of any illumination onto adjoining land or roadways
  • The impact of any logo box associated with the sign
  • The need for identification and the opportunities for adequate identification on the site or locality
  • The impact on road safety
  • Any prospective applicant should refer to Clause 52.05 of the Hepburn Planning Scheme prior to lodging an application for signage.

View the Hepburn Planning Scheme or contact the Planning Team for advice. 

Building

All building work requires a building permit unless it is exempt. Exemption are listed under Schedule 3 of the Building Regulations 2018.

Any building work which involves work to structural or load-bearing elements of an existing building, regardless of cost, will require a building permit. Such permits are required to ensure a construction complies with the Building Act 1993, Building Regulations 2018 and the National Construction Code. A building permit is required for most building works or change of use of an existing building. You may need a building permit for a new build, extension, alteration, change of use, fence or retaining wall. Planning permits are different.

A Building Permit is required before any work can begin.

Always speak to Council’s Building Services Department before commencing works to ensure you have the required approvals in place. Call (03) 5348 2306 or email shire@hepburn.vic.gov.au.

Check below for the types of works that require building permits. Once you have determined whether you need a building permit you can apply online.

Dwellings (Class 1a)

WORKS

DESCRIPTION

PERMIT REQUIRED

Addition/Extension

Additions to a dwelling or any other building

Yes

Alterations (Structural)

Structural alterations to a dwelling or any other building; or

Removal of or alteration to a load-bearing part or a part contributing to the support of a building. (e.g. a wall supporting a ceiling and/or roof propping or required for bracing the structure against wind or movement).

Yes

Alterations (Non-structural)

Alterations to a building, if the building work:

  • will not adversely affect the structural soundness of the building and does not include an increase or decrease in the floor area or height of the building, or underpinning or replacement of footings, or the removal or alteration of any element of the building that is contributing to the support of any other element of the building; and
  • will not project beyond the street alignment; and
  • will not adversely affect the safety of the public or occupiers of the building; and
  • is not work carried out on, or in connection with, a building included on the Heritage Register within the meaning of the Heritage Act 2017; and
  • is not work in relation to, and will not adversely affect, an essential safety measure relating to the building

e.g. Remodeling of a bathroom or kitchen, replacement of internal wall and ceiling linings and replacement of external wall cladding (like for like) that does not include structural alterations

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

No, however check with a registered building surveyor for confirmation

Change of Use

Changing the use of a building from one class to another (i.e. shed to a dwelling)

Yes

Deck

Attached to a building irrespective of size or forming part of a swimming pool surround

Detached timber deck constructed as part of the amenity of a dwelling

Yes

Demolition/Removal

Removal, demolition or CFA burn of a building to remove it from site

Yes

New Building

Construction of Dwelling

Yes

Pergola

Note:A pergola is defined in regulation 5 to mean an open structure that is unroofed but may have a covering of open weave permeable material.

Construction of pergola that

  • is not more than 3.6m in height; and
  • if belonging to a Class 1 building, islocated no further forward on the allotment than 2.5m forward of the front wall of that building, and
  • in any other case, is located no further forward on the allotment than the front wall of that building to which it belongs; and
  • has a floor area not exceeding 20m2

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

Re-Erection

Re-Erection of an existing dwelling

Yes

Repair/Maintenance

Repair, renewal or maintenance of a part of an existing building, if the building work:

  • will not adversely affect the structural soundness of the building, and does not include an increase or decrease in the floor area or height of the building, or underpinning or replacement of footings, or the removal or alteration of any element of the building that is contributing to the support of any other element of the building; and
  • is done using materials commonly used for the same purpose as the material being replaced; and
  • will not adversely affect the safety of the public or occupiers of the building; and
  • will not adversely affect an essential safety measure relating to the building

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

No, however check with a registered building surveyor for confirmation

Restumping

Re-blocking, restumping or underpinning of an existing building (including partial)

Yes

Retaining Walls

Construction on or near site boundaries where there is a risk of damage to adjoining properties; or

Construction of a retaining wall 1m or more in height

Yes

Roofing

Replacement of corrugated iron roofing with concrete or terracotta roofing tiles; or

Replacement of concrete or terracotta roofing tiles with corrugated iron roofing.; or

Replacement of corrugated iron roofing with another pre-finished metal sheeting which requires the installation of structural battens

Yes

Roofing Replacement of corrugated iron roofing with similar corrugated iron sheeting (colorbond) and no replacement of structural battens No
Verandah Construction of a verandah attached to any building Yes

Windows

Replacement of windows with similar type windows, where not structural alterations are required

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

No
Windows Installation of bay or corner type windows, where structural alterations are required Yes

Sheds, garages, carports (Class 10a)

WORKS

DESCRIPTION

PERMIT REQUIRED

Addition/Extension

Additions to a dwelling or any other building

Yes

Alterations

Alterations to a building, if the building work:

  • will not adversely affect the structural soundness of the building and does not include an increase or decrease in the floor area or height of the building, or underpinning or replacement of footings, or the removal or alteration of any element of the building that is contributing to the support of any other element of the building; and
  • will not project beyond the street alignment; and
  • will not adversely affect the safety of the public or occupiers of the building; and
  • is not work carried out on, or in connection with, a building included on the Heritage Register within the meaning of the Heritage Act 2017; and
  • is not work in relation to, and will not adversely affect, an essential safety measure relating to the building

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

No, however check with a registered building surveyor for confirmation

Construction of Carport

Carport attached to (or physically sited beside) another building

Yes

Cubby House

Children's timber or plastic cubby or play house if:

  • 10m2 or less in area, and
  • 3m or less in height, and
  • setback 1m or more from the boundary, and
  • located no further forward that the front wall of the dwelling

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

No

Demolition/Removal

Demolition/Removal of a freestanding Class 10a building that:

  • is not constructed of masonry, and
  • does not exceed 40m2in floor area, and
  • will not adversely affect the safety of the public or occupiers of the building, and
  • is not work carried out on, or in connection with, a building included on the Heritage Register within the meaning of the Heritage Act 2017

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

No

NewBuilding (over 10m2)

New Shed/Garage/Carport more than 10m2in area

Yes

New Building (10m2or under)

New Shed/Garage/Carport if the proposed works are:

  • 10m2 or under, and
  • is no more than 3m in height (or 2.4m if within 1m of boundary), and
  • not built of masonry, and
  • if belonging to a building of another class on the same allotment, is located no further forward on the allotment than the front wall of the building to which it belongs, and
  • if it is not belonging to a building of another class on the same allotment, is the only Class 10a building on the allotment and is setback at least 9m from the front street alignment and at least 2m from each side street alignment if on vacant land.

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

Note: Report and Consent may be required if the building is proposed to be constructed over an easement

No

Renewal/Maintenance

Repair, renewal or maintenance of a part of an existing building, if the building work:

  • will not adversely affect the structural soundness of the building, and does not include an increase or decrease in the floor area or height of the building, or underpinning or replacement of footings, or the removal or alteration of any element of the building that is contributing to the support of any other element of the building; and
  • is done using materials commonly used for the same purpose as the material being replaced; and
  • will not adversely affect the safety of the public or occupiers of the building; and
  • will not adversely affect an essential safety measure relating to the building

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

No, however check with a registered building surveyor for confirmation
NOTE:A CLASS 10a BUILDING MUST NOT BE CONSTRUCTED ON VACANT LAND WITHOUT CONSENT FROM COUNCIL'S BUILDING DEPARTMENT

Swimming pools and spas (Class 10b)

Find out how to register your pool or spa with Council.

WORKS

DESCRIPTION

PERMIT REQUIRED

Above Ground Pool

Construction of a swimming pool or spa greater than 300mm in depth

Yes, must include safety barrier

Deck Attached to a building irrespective of size or forming part of a swimming pool surround Yes

Inflatable or Temporary Pool

A relocatable swimming pool that is erected temporarily in an area enclosed by an approved safety barrier

No, however Permit for safety barrier required

Inground Pool

Construction of a swimming pool or spa greater than 300mm in depth

Yes, must include safety barrier

Safety Barrier (new)

Safety Barrier constructed around pools or spas that can contain over 300mm in depth of water

Yes

Safety Barrier (alterations)

Alterations to an existing safety barrier

Yes

Spa

Installation of spa

Yes, must include safety barrier

Commercial buildings (Class 5,6,7 and 8)

Class 5 - office. Class 6 - shop/restaurant. Class 7 - warehouse. Class 8 - factory.

WORKS

DESCRIPTION

PERMIT REQUIRED

Addition/Extension

Adding additional space to a building

Yes

Alterations

Alterations to a building, if the building work:

  • will not adversely affect the structural soundness of the building and does not include an increase or decrease in the floor area or height of the building, or underpinning or replacement of footings, or the removal or alteration of any element of the building that is contributing to the support of any other element of the building; and
  • will not project beyond the street alignment; and
  • will not adversely affect the safety of the public or occupiers of the building; and
  • is not work carried out on, or in connection with, a building included on the Heritage Register within the meaning of the Heritage Act 2017; and
  • is not work in relation to, and will not adversely affect, an essential safety measure relating to the building

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

No, however check with a registered building surveyor for confirmation

Change of Use

Changing use of a building from one Class to another (i.e. shop to an office or restaurant, dwelling to a shop or office)

Yes

Demolition/Removal

Removal, demolition or CFA burn of a building to remove it from site

Yes

New Building

Construction of a new commercial premises

Yes

Repair/Renewal

Repair, renewal or maintenance of a part of an existing building, if the building work:

  • will not adversely affect the structural soundness of the building, and does not include an increase or decrease in the floor area or height of the building, or underpinning or replacement of footings, or the removal or alteration of any element of the building that is contributing to the support of any other element of the building; and
  • is done using materials commonly used for the same purpose as the material being replaced; and
  • will not adversely affect the safety of the public or occupiers of the building; and
  • will not adversely affect an essential safety measure relating to the building

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

No, however check with a registered building surveyor for confirmation

Sign

More than 1m above ground level and within 3m of a street alignment; or

More than 8m above ground level and more than 6m2in display area

Yes

Sign (Real Estate) Free standing, self-supporting sign not more than 4.6m2in area No
Sign (Real Estate) For sale or lease sign located on a shop verandah Yes

Fences (Class 10b)

Visit our fencing page for more information about building a fence in Hepburn Shire.

WORKS

DESCRIPTION

PERMIT REQUIRED

Corner Fence

Construction of a fence over 1m in height and within 9m of a point of intersection of street alignments

Yes

Front Fence (Declared Road)

Construction of front fence on a declared road over 2m in height

Yes, see VicRoads map of declared roads

Front Fence (Light Weight - Picket, Colorbond, Etc.)

Construction of fence over 1.5m in height when within 3m ofa street alignment and which is not constructed of masonry, concrete or similar material

Yes

Front Fence (Solid - Brick, Concrete, Etc.)

Construction of fence over1.2m in height when within 3m of a street alignment and which is constructed of masonry, concrete or similar material

Yes

Side or RearBoundary Fence (over 2m)

Construction of a side or boundary fence more than 2m high

Yes

Side or Rear Boundary Fence Construction ofa side or boundary fence 2m high and not within 3m of a street alignment No

Security Fence

Fence containing barbed wire adjacent to a street alignment

Yes

Tennis Court Fence

Construction of a chain wire tennis court fence

No, if contained within the property boundary

Other works

WORKS

DESCRIPTION

PERMIT REQUIRED

Bushfire Shelter

Construction of a bushfire shelter

Yes

Deck

Attached to a building irrespective of size or forming part of a swimming pool surround

Detached timber deck constructed as part of the amenity of a dwelling

Yes

Hail Netting Hail netting that is permeable and used for agricultural purpose supported on posts not greater than 3m in height with tensioned cables fixed to the ground No

Mast/Pole/Antenna (attached to building)

Installation of mast, pole, antenna, aerial,or similar Class 10b structure attached to a building with heightexceeding 3m above the highest point of the attachment to the building

Yes

Mast/Pole/Antenna (on ground)

Installation of mast, pole, antenna, aerial or similar Class10b structure not attached to a building and with height exceeding 8m above ground level

Yes

Pergola

Note: A pergola is defined in regulation 5 to mean an open structure that is unroofed but may have a covering of open weave permeable material.

Construction of pergola that

  • is not more than 3.6m in height; and
  • if belonging to a Class 1 building, is located no further forward on the allotment than 2.5m forward of the front wall of that building, and
  • in any other case, is located no further forward on the allotment than the front wall of that building to which it belongs; and
  • has a floor area not exceeding 20m2

NOTE: A Building Permit is required if the proposed works do not meet the above criteria

No

Retaining Wall

Construction on or near site boundaries where there is a risk of damage to adjoining property; or

Construction of a retaining wall 1m or more in height

Yes

Retaining Wall

Construction of a retaining wall less than 1m and:

  • not associated with other building work, or
  • not associated with protection of adjoining property
No

Shade Sail

Installation of shade sail over 20m2 or located within the front setback

Yes

Shipping Container Installation of shipping container for storage, dwelling, etc. Yes
Sign

More than 1m above ground level and within 3m of a street alignment; or

More than 8m above ground level and more than 6m2in display area

Yes
Sign (Real Estate) Free standing, self-supporting sign not more than 4.6m2in area No
Sign (Real Estate) For sale or lease sign located on a shop verandah Yes

Solid Fuel or Wood Heater

Installation of a wood heater (solid fuel burning appliance)

No, however installation must be undertaken by a licensed plumber

Verandah

Construction of a verandah attached to any building

Yes

 

 

To discuss your proposal and determine whether you need a building permit, contact Council’s Building Department. Phone (03) 5348 2306 or email shire@hepburn.vic.gov.au.

Related resources

Domestic animal business

A Domestic Animal Business Permit is required to operate a domestic animal business. Contact Council's Community Safety Team for more information or to apply.

Under section 45 of the Domestic Animal Act 1994 it is an offence to conduct a domestic animal business on an unregistered premises and heavy penalties apply. In Victoria, the Domestic Animals Act 1994 defines Domestic Animal Businesses as any of the following:

  • A council pound  (operated by council or a contractor on behalf of council)
  • A dog and/or cat breeding business – where there are three or more fertile females and animals are sold (whether a profit is made or not), and the proprietor is not a member of an applicable organisation. If the proprietor is a member of an applicable organisation, they are exempt from registering as a breeding Domestic Animal Business if they have less than ten (10) fertile female animals AND no more than two (2) are not registered with an applicable organisation.
  • dog training establishment (where the business is run for profit)
  • pet shop (operated in a permanent location that must be open at least five (5) days per week)
  • An animal shelter (e.g. welfare organisations such as RSPCA and The Lost Dogs’ Home)
  • A boarding establishment dogs and cats (where the business is run for profit to provide overnight, daycare or homecare boarding).

All domestic animal businesses must be registered and comply with the appropriate mandatory Code of Practice. Council will often require an inspection of the facilities prior to renewing the registration each year. Council is required to report the number of domestic animal businesses registered with them to the department on an annual basis.

Food business

Opening a food business

All Victorian food businesses that handle, prepare, package, store, serve, supply or convey food must be registered or notify under the Food Act.

If you are thinking of starting your own food business in a fixed premise such as a café, restaurant, factory, or other permanent structure there are some important steps you will need to follow.

If your business is not a fixed premises, you need to visit the temporary food premises tab below. Examples of temporary food businesses are:

  • Mobile food premises – such as cart, trailer or van
  • Temporary or portable food premise – such as a marquee or tent
  • Food vending machines
  • Water carters.
Research your idea and form a business plan

Formulating a business plan is your first and most important step to ensure your business will be sustainable.

Increase your chances of success in your business by checking the tool kit on the Business Victoria  website and formulating a

business plan.

Our website also has information on starting and growing your business.

Approval from other authorities

Permits or exemptions may be required from other authorities prior to applying for a registration under the Food Act. These may include, but are not limited to:

New food business

If you are looking to open a new food business it is recommended that you submit plans of the proposed food business, along with a written description about the type of food and premises you would like to set up.

If you have lodged your application form and paid the required fee, written advice will be provided. If you would like written advice regarding the suitability of a premises, you can lodge a New Premises – Pre Purchase Inspection ApplicationThis is recommended particularly if you are purchasing an existing food business, or fitting out a vacant space.

All food premises must comply with the Food Standards Code. The guidance document Setting Up A Food Business(PDF, 417KB)  will also assist with construction requirements for a food premises.

Prior to Council granting a Certificate of Registration, the following requirements must be met:

  • Application to register form must be submitted and fee paid
  • Final inspection of the food premises by a Council Environmental Health Officer
  • Food Safety Program is maintained on-site (Class 1 & 2 Food Businesses Only)
  • Food Safety Supervisor’s Certificate submitted (Class 1 & 2 Food Business).

Buying an existing food business

If you are buying an existing food business, it is advisable (but not compulsory) to organise an inspection of the premises under the Food Act 1984 prior to negotiating the purchase. You will need to complete an Application to Transfer a Food Business(PDF, 133KB) form and pay a fee. Once the premises is transferred into your name, any outstanding food safety requirements will become your responsibility.

Making alterations to your business

The guidance document Setting up a Food Business(PDF, 417KB) has been developed to assist people altering or starting a new food premises, in line with the Food Standards Code. If you decide to undertake any works, it is recommended to submit a plan to the Environmental Health Department for approval and advice prior to commencement of any works. If plans are not submitted, any works undertaken must comply with the Food Safety Standards.

Classification of food businesses

The Food Act defines four different classes of food premises, each with different registration or notification requirements. The classification system is based on the level of food safety risk posed by the food handling occurring at the business, with Class 1 the highest level of risk and Class 4 the lowest:

  • Class 1 – Hospitals, childcare centres, and listed facilities for the aged, at which ready-to-eat potentially hazardous food is served
  • Class 2 – All other premises (other than Class 1) that handle potentially hazardous unpackaged foods
  • Class 3 – Premises handling unpackaged low risk foods, selling potentially hazardous pre-packaged foods, or the warehousing or distribution of pre-packaged foods
  • Class 4 – Premises that only retail pre-packaged low risk foods, and certain other low risk or occasional activities.

More information on classifications be found at the Department of Health and Human Services.

If you fall under Class 4 – your business does not need to be registered, however you must complete and lodge a Notification Form(PDF, 101KB).

Class 1, 2 and 3 food businesses are required to renew their Food Act Registration on an annual basis, with fees payable by 31 December each year.

Food safety programs and minimum records

Upon registration, Class 1 and 2 food businesses must have a Food Safety Program on site. Class 3 food businesses must have the Minimum Record sheets.

A Food Safety Program is a written plan that describes how a food business will control, monitor, and manage food safely and includes relevant records to verify this. Download a Food Safety Program template.

Minimum Record sheets are a simplified version of a food safety program. These record sheets are available from the Department of Health.

Food safety supervisor

Class 1 and 2 food businesses must nominate a person to be their Food Safety Supervisor. This person must have a Certificate or Statement of Attainment against the required competencies from a Registered Training Organisation. Class 3 and 4 food businesses are exempt from this requirement. Further information is available from the Department of Health.

Do Food Safely – free online food safety learning program

The Department of Health has developed a free online learning program for people who are either currently or considering working in the food industry. The online training program is informative and includes six topics on food safety and a final quiz. Participants who score more than 90 percent on the quiz are awarded a certificate. If you are interested you can complete the free online Food Safety Learning ProgramThis training does not satisfy the requirement for a qualification as a Food Safety Supervisor.

Food Safety

Council’s Environmental Health Officers carry out the following duties:

  • Inspect food premises to ensure food is prepared and sold in a safe manner
  • Conduct food sampling
  • Investigate food related complaints
  • Conduct food recalls
  • Seize potentially unsafe food to prevent its sale.

Complaints relating to the operation of a food business or alleged food poisoning within our Shire can be lodged via an Online Service Request or by calling Customer Service on 5348 2306. 

Footpath trading and outdoor dining

Footpath trading involves the use of our public footpaths for commercial purposes. The footpath is the area between the property boundary and the kerbside of a road that is provided for use by pedestrians.

Typical uses include the placement of advertising signs, display of goods, tables and chairs and other equipment, such as umbrellas, heaters, planter boxes and wind barriers.

Policy 19 – Placement of Fixed and Temporary Furniture, Signs and Outdoor Dining Facilities on Road Reserves provides specific standards for pedestrian zone widths, kerb zone widths, outdoor furniture, heaters, awnings and footpath signage, and also aims to achieve the intent of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), by maintaining an accessible footpath.

The permit-holder must ensure all staff responsible for placing items on the footpath are familiar with the area that can be occupied and permit conditions. Failure to comply with your permit may result in enforcement action or your permit may be cancelled.

If you are planning to use the footpath area for a temporary food business, please see Temporary and Mobile Food Premises (below).

Footpath trading and outdoor dining application

Health and beauty business

If you want to open a new health or beauty business, you must register with council and comply with the Public Health and Wellbeing Act.

Examples of businesses that require registration:

  • Hairdressers
  • Beauty therapy (waxing, threading, manicures, pedicures, laser, IPL, spray tanning, eyelash extensions)
  • Tattooing and piercing
  • Colonic irrigation
  • Business involving penetration of the skin.

The Department of Health and Human Services has developed the Infection Prevention and Control Guidelines for hair, beauty, tattooing and skin penetration industries. The guidelines area a great resource and assist businesses to comply with the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009.

Health premises are regularly inspected by Council’s Environmental Health Officers to ensure that the premises is clean and sanitary and that appropriate hygiene practices are in place.

Premises conducting hairdressing and low-risk beauty therapy use a simplified ‘on-going’ registration process

Apply to transfer a health premises(PDF, 85KB).

Home based business

We provide support to residents who run a small business from their home. These businesses are an important part of our business community and can include:

  • Online, start-up and small businesses that operate from the home
  • Consultants, contractors and tradespeople with a home office
  • Sole traders, such as a hairdresser, who perform services from their home.

What you need to do

To start a business from home, you’ll need to:

For more information on starting a home-based business, contact Council.

Health requirements

Some home-based businesses may also need to register with Council Health Services, including:

  • Food businesses (see Food business above)
  • Beauty parlours (see Health and beauty above)
  • Bed and breakfasts (see Accommodation above).

Planning

How do I know if I need a planning permit?

Many types of use and development require a planning permit, including (but not limited to):

  • Building a house or a shed
  • Establishing a business (including working from home).
  • Industrial or commercial development
  • Subdividing land
  • Liquor License
  • Advertising signage
  • Clearing or lopping native vegetation
  • Keeping animals
  • Installing a septic system

Whether you need a planning permit or not will depend on several factors including the zone in which your land is located, whether any overlays apply to your land or if the development or use is subject to any ‘Particular Provisions’ in the Planning Scheme. This information can be found in the Hepburn Planning Scheme

How do I find out what planning controls affect my property?

You can obtain a report on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website that gives you the zone and overlay controls affecting your property. Simply search for the address of the property and then click 'Create Planning Property Report' to view detail about the controls that affect your property. Using this, you can then go to the Hepburn Planning Scheme to view the zones and overlays. 

Make a booking to speak with a planner

The Planning team is committed to providing the community and applicants with timely and accurate planning advice to facilitate a smooth and efficient planning application process. We want your interaction with Council and our planning team to be a positive and productive experience. As part of this commitment, we have initiated an online booking appointment system to provide comprehensive and quality pre-application advice.

For all pre-application advice you are required to book an appointment online by clicking on the link below. For all other planning enquiries, you can call to speak with a planner weekdays from 1pm to 4pm on (03) 5348 2306.

Make a booking

How to prepare for a pre-application meeting

You will be required to provide the following information:

  • Sketch or concept plans of the proposal.
  • Certificate of Title of the subject property (including any plans, covenant details or Section 173 Agreements)
  • Any other written documents (eg. photographs, specialist reports) which may be beneficial or relevant to the proposal.

Submit a request for written planning advice

Please complete the online request form for written planning advice and provide all the relevant detail. You will then need to pay the relevant fee by calling the customer service team on (03) 5348 2306. Once the fee has been paid, your request will be assigned to one of our planners who will provide you with detailed advice on your proposal.

Apply now

Advice on minor proposals

You can call to speak with a planner weekdays from 1pm to 4pm on (03) 5348 2306 (Option 4)  on minor proposals including:

  • Small-scale extensions/outbuildings to dwellings or commercial buildings
  • Small-scale works such as sheds, garages, solar panels and alterations
  • Changes of use
  • Signage proposals of a modest nature
  • Two-lot subdivisions (without development)

 

 

Streatrader

Streatrader is an online database for temporary and mobile food operators, which allows you to register electronically with your principal council. Once you are registered with your council, you will then need to apply to be registered on the Streatrader website.

When council has approved your registration on the Streatrader website, you can trade anywhere in Victoria. Each time before you trade you simply log in to your Streatrader account and complete a Statement of Trade (SOT), which will ask when and where you will be trading from your temporary or mobile food premises. Your SOT will then go to the relevant council to notify them of your activities in the area.

Temporary and mobile food business

Temporary food premises are temporary stalls or tents from which food is sold, such as at a market or festival. Mobile food premises are vehicles such as vans, trailers or carts from which food is sold.

If you operate a food van, food stall, food vending machine or a water transport vehicle you need to register with your principal council. This applies to businesses, as well community groups and fundraisers.

Once registered, you will need to lodge a Statement of Trade with Streatrader for each Council at least five days prior to an event, outlining where and when you intend to operate. No fees apply.

Your principal council is:

  • Where your business prepares or stores food to be sold from a van, stall, or vending machine
  • The district in which you usually store the equipment for a stall, or garage your food van or water transport vehicle
  • If none of the above apply – the district where your business address is located
  • If none of the above are in Victoria – the district where your mobile or temporary food business will first operate in Victoria.

For requirements on street stalls visit the Temporary food event.