Planning advice

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.

Due to staff leave over Christmas/New Year, no appointments are available until after 16th January 2023. Bookings will re-open in the new year.


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.
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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 fee of $171 by calling the customer service team on (03) 5348 2306, alternatively one of our Customer Service team members will make contact with you. 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. 

Click here to view form.

Advice on minor proposals

You can call to speak with a planning officer on weekdays from 1pm to 4pm on (03) 5348 2306 (Option 4). The team may be able to assist with queries related to the following:

  • 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)