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 are two application processes: the standard permit application process described below and the VicSmart process. 

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.