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Planning Permit Process

What is the difference between a planning permit and a building permit?

Planning permits relate to the use and development of land. Building permits relate to structural matters and compliance with building regulations. They are different in what they approve, in their purpose and they relate to two separate approvals. Some proposals require both planning and building permits, some require only one.

When do I apply for a planning permit?

If required, a planning permit must be issued before a building permit can be issued. You can apply for a building permit at the same time as applying for the planning permit or prior to the planning permit being issued. This may help to reduce the total approvals process time as the permits can be assessed concurrently.

Who can issue permits?

Planning permits can only be issued by Council, VCAT or the Minister for Planning.

Building permits can be issued by any registered Building Surveyor such as Council’s Building Surveyors or by a registered private building surveyor.

Planning permit application process

A brief outline of the process is as follows however a more detailed description of each part of the planning process can be found via the following information on this page. If you require more detailed information on any step of the planning process you can click on the links on the left of this page or visit the Victorian State Governments Planning Page.


Before you think about building, renovating or starting a new business, you should consider whether you require a planning permit for what you are proposing to do. Early in this process or before you lodge a planning permit application you are encouraged to:

  • Read advice, or follow links, on this page
  • Follow links to DELWP and Land Victoria information
  • Phone the Planning Department (5348 1577) or visit the Council offices for advice from a duty planner
  • You can discuss your ideas at a free pre-application meeting with one of our planning officers. Based on your proposal, the planning officer will be able to guide and assist you in completing the planning permit application.

    Lodging an application

    An application can be lodged at any of Councils Service Centres, electronically via email or posted. More information regarding lodgement can be found here.

    Once an application is lodged, a planning officer will advise in writing if additional information is required.

    The application will be placed on hold until the requested information is received.


    After submitting an application it becomes public information. Council may give notice of an application based on the potential to impact the adjoining land and the amenity of an area. We may notify the public in the following ways;

  • notification by mail to abutting owners / occupiers
  • a sign placed on the subject property
  • a copy of the advertising material will be available at the Council offices
  • an advertisement in the classifieds section of the local newspaper
  • Council may also refer the application to other statutory bodies for advice and comment. These authorities have 28 days to respond and may impose conditions or object to an application.


    Anybody who feels they are affected by a proposal can object to the granting of the permit. Any objection must be lodged before Council makes a decision on the application. To ensure that an objection can form part of the assessment process it is strongly encouraged that an objection is submitted before the date shown on the ‘Notice of Application’

    An objection by an individual must;

  • be made in writing,
  • clearly state the reasons for objecting and how you would be affected, and
  • provide full name and postal address on all objections
  • it is also encouraged to include your email address.
  • An objection made by a group, such as a petition must;

  • be made in writing
  • clearly state the reasons for objecting and
  • nominate one contact person with postal address of contact person provided. (Please note. A group objection is treated as if it is a single objection.
  • Objection relating solely to commercial competition are not permitted.

    Council will make a copy of every objection available for inspection. We cannot make a decision on an application until 14 days after the giving of the last notice. (The date identified on the notice


    At the end of the notification period, the Council will undertake an assessment of the application and either:

  • refuse a permit,
  • grant a permit or,
  • if there are objections, issue a Notice of Decision to grant a permit.
  • A permit can be granted with or without conditions. A proposal can only proceed if all conditions are met. For example, a permit for a restaurant might be issued on the condition that a certain number of car-parking spaces are provided. The applicant and all objectors will be informed of the Council’s decision via a Notice of Decision or a Refusal.


    You may lodge an application for review to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) if;

  • your permit application is refused by the Council or the responsible authority;
  • you are an objector and you are not happy that this decision has been made; or
  • the decision contains conditions you are not happy about
  • VCAT conducts public hearings and considers submissions from all parties involved. They assess the proposal’s planning merits, decide whether a permit should be granted and what conditions are appropriate.