Before applying for a planning permit

Determine if you need a planning permit, and if so, ensure you have all your information ready to lodge an application.

Image of blueprints

Do I need a permit?

There are a number of different factors that determine whether or not you need a planning permit. These include, but are not limited to:

  • the types of works you want to do (renovations/a new house/two or more houses/a new cafe)
  • where the property is located (what zone it's in)
  • how big the property is
  • whether the property is in an area that may possibly flood (is it in a land subject to inundation overlay?)
  • whether your property is adjacent to a major road
  • whether your property is in an area where heritage controls apply
  • if you're wanting to run a business from home
  • if you want to subdivide land.

If you want to do some research, the VicPlan website is a great resource. It allows you to look up your property and find out how it fits into local planning requirements.

If you want information confirmed in writing, you can apply for written advice.

Doing my homework

When turning your ideas into reality consider the following:

When preparing to lodge your application:

I want to seek pre-application advice

The purpose of a planning permit pre-application meeting is to discuss complex applications with planning officers before you submit your application.

Typically, pre-application meetings are reserved for larger-scale more complex applications. If you query relates to a smaller scale matter written advice, in the form of an email or letter response, can be issued. 

Please ensure your query includes plans detailing your proposal together with a written description. This will assist officers to best understand your question(s). 

Our response will confirm if a planning permit is required and, if so, the key issues which require resolution together with details of application requirements and likely process.

Please note the pre-application process provides advice only. Advice should not be regarded as the City of Ballarat’s final decision. In many cases public notice of an application and referral to internal departments and external agencies is required. These processes can often highlight concerns not necessarily considered during pre-application discussions.

Please email your submission to Your query will be allocated to a Planning Officer who will be in touch in due course.

Please note our new pre-application service will soon be implemented. This new service will provide additional information about the pre-application process and your role as applicant. Watch this space!

I want to seek written advice as to whether a planning permit is required

Request written advice when you need to clarify whether a planning permit is required for your project.

Before applying, you'll need to ensure you have the following information:

Apply for written advice


I want to request a copy of a planning permit or endorsed plans

To get copies of existing planning permits or endorsed plans, you'll need to applyBefore applying, you will need to have the following information:

  • property address
  • planning permit reference number

Request copy of planning permit

Planning fees

The cost of an application depends on what you're planning. The factors that influence your fee include:

  • the type of permit (planning, subdivision, covenant removal)
  • the cost of the development
  • in some cases, the type of property (single dwelling or multi-dwelling)

A full list of planning related fees can be found in our fee schedule.