Planning permit process

What is the process to obtain a planning permit?

Person walking along logs

Before you apply

Before preparing an application, ensure you have all the documentation required.

We offer pre-application meetingswritten advice, policies and strategies and checklists to ensure that you are better prepared before you lodge your application.

Application process

Lodge your application

  • Lodge your application online, pay the application fee and we will shortly confirm the contact details of the planner working with you on your application

We will review your application and provide feedback

Through an initial assessment of your application we may:

  • request further information
  • refer your application to another authority
  • suggest making changes to your application
  • indicate we don't support your application in its current form

We may advertise your application

If required, we’ll advertise your application for at least 14 days. This can include:

  • sending a letter to your neighbours
  • placing a sign at the front of your property
  • advertising your planning application online
  • receiving objections to your application
  • scheduling and attending a mediation meeting with objectors

We will make a decision about your application

We will make our decision based on:

  • considering all submissions that we receive through advertising
  • considering any referral comments from other authorities and departments of Council
  • assessing planning scheme provisions
  • preparing a report 

Making our decision

Depending on the type of application, a planning decision may be made:

Our decision may be one of the following:

  • approval of a planning permit or an amended permit
  • notice of decision to grant or amend a planning permit
  • notice of decision to refuse to grant a permit or an amendment to a permit

We will give a copy of the decision to the person who has applied for the planning permit and anyone who has provided a submission either supporting or objecting to the proposal.

We aim to process applications as quickly as possible. We aim to make a decision within 60 days of receiving your application. If we require further information, the 60 days starts from the date we receive that information. The more steps your application needs to go through, the longer the assessment will take.

After our decision

When does a permit begin?

A permit operates from:

  • the date it was issued
  • the date of VCAT’s decision if no date is specified and the permit was issued at the direction of VCAT (in this case it will need to be backdated to the Tribunal decision date); or
  • the date on which it was issued (where no date is specified).

A permit can expire in three ways:

  • if the permit is not acted upon; or
  • if the use is discontinued as set out in section 68 of the Act; or
  • if a permit condition provides that a use may only be conducted until a certain time or that works must be removed after a certain time.

You can also change your approved planning permit, including extending the expiry date. 


VCAT may review your application

VCAT will only review your application if:


Complying with conditions

After we’ve approved your planning permit, sometimes you need to submit further documentation to comply with your permit conditions.

After you submit your documents, we:

  • assess your documents
  • may seek views from other specialists
  • advise you of our decision

After we approve your planning permit, you may need to apply for more permits such as:

This is not an exhaustive list, so make sure that you check with Council and other regulatory services that you have all your approvals in place before you start.