A planning permit is a legal document that allows a certain use and / or development on land.

It normally contains a written document with conditions that must be met and a set of plans.

Most applications for a planning permit will be made to the local council, but some are made to the Minister for Planning.

There is a standard permit application process and the VicSmart process for eligible applications.

A planning permit is not a building permit. Building permits relate to the method of construction of a building or development. You may need to obtain both a building permit and a planning permit.

The permit process

Before making an application

  • find out about the planning scheme
  • talk to the council planner
  • talk to the neighbours
  • consider getting professional advice

Prepare and submit the application

  • application information
  • application form
  • fee

Council checks the application

  • more information?
  • referral?

Application is advertised for at least 14 days

  • usually by letter to neighbours and a sign on-site
  • people affected may object

Council assesses the application

  • considers any objections
  • holds mediation meeting if needed
  • considers any referral comments
  • assesses planning scheme provisions
  • negotiates with permit applicant
  • prepares report

Council decides the application

Council may issue either:

  • a permit with conditions
  • a notice of decision with conditions
  • a refusal

Review by VCAT if applied for

  • by the permit applicant against conditions of refusal
  • by an objector against notice of decision

More information

  • The relevant department office can give you more information or advice if the Minister for Planning is the responsible authority
  • Planning practice notes have been prepared which relate to some types of permit proposals such as applications in rural zones, where flood provisions apply and for dwellings in residential zones.

Page last updated: 31/10/22