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French Island, Sandstone Island and Elizabeth Island are unincorporated areas and do not fall within any Victorian municipality.

The Minister for Planning is the responsible authority and we administer the French Island and Sandstone Island planning scheme on behalf of the Minister.

The planning scheme acknowledges the islands limited access, isolation and infrastructure constraints and seeks to protect unique environmental qualities.

Applying for a planning permit

Before starting the planning permit application you should discuss your proposal with the Gippsland Regional Planning Services team, to ensure that the proposed use and development can be accommodated within the provisions of the planning scheme.

Gippsland Regional Planning Services
71 Hotham Street, Traralgon, Victoria 3844
03 5172 2533

It is helpful to discuss your proposal with neighbours or other residents likely to be affected also. Where applications require significant assessment against the provisions of the planning scheme, applicants should consider seeking professional planning advice.

Read more about applying for a planning permit.

Start an application online with details of the land, including a recent copy of the certificate of title, details of the proposal, estimated cost, existing use and development of the land, applicant and owner details, and an application fee.

You may be required to provide site plans or layout plans, drawn to scale with dimensions, showing:

  • The boundaries and dimensions of the site.
  • Adjoining roads.
  • The location and use of buildings and works on adjoining land.
  • Relevant ground levels.
  • Layout of existing and proposed buildings and works.
  • Elevations of proposed buildings including height, colour and materials.
  • Existing and proposed driveways and car parking.
  • Existing and proposed landscaping.
  • External storage and waste treatment areas.
  • Existing masts, poles or other structures used for energy supply.

Start a planning permit application

VicSmart planning permits

Contact the Gippsland Regional Planning Services team to discuss whether your proposal qualifies as a VicSmart application.

Learn more about VicSmart permits.


Find out about fees for planning applications.

Building permits

A building permit is required for any building proposed on the land in addition to a planning permit. A registered private building surveyor can advise whether your proposed development needs a building permit and can provide a building permit if one is needed.

For more information about building permits and the building process contact:

Septic tanks

Applications to install septic and waste water systems must be made to:

Bass Coast Shire Council
Environmental Health
PO Box 118 Wonthaggi Victoria 3995
1300 226 278

Restructured subdivision

Restructure overlays apply to 3 locations:

  • Tankerton Estate
  • Bullock and Decoy Swamp area on French Island
  • Sandstone Island.

The subdivisions in these areas have been restructured in accordance with the land’s environmental capabilities and infrastructure constraints. The subdivisions were created into small lots without any regard to the topography or capacity of the land to support potential development, and without the provision of services or facilities.

Restructure overlays, which require a number of lots to be consolidated before development can be considered, have been applied to these areas. The consolidation of lots does not necessarily mean that development will be permitted.

The Tankerton Estate comprises 699 lots, and the restructure overlay allows for a maximum of 19 consolidated lots. The environmental capabilities and infrastructure constraints dictate what form of development can occur on each of the restructured lots.

In the Bullock and Decoy Swamp area, a total of 13 dwellings are permitted in the restructure plan, which reflects the environmental constraints, poor level of access and relative isolation of this part of the island.

Sandstone Island consists of a subdivision of 142 lots created in the 1960s. The restructure plan allows for one dwelling on the island, in accordance with its environmental setting and land constraints.

Page last updated: 04/07/24