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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.

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:

  • Download a Planning Property Report to identify the planning requirements including the zone and any overlays
  • Look at the Ballarat Planning Scheme to confirm if you need a planning permit
  • Determine if your proposal is eligible for a fast-track process through VicSmart
  • View our checklists to confirm the information you might need to provide with an application 
  • Prepare initial plans for your proposal 
  • Discuss plans with your neighbours
  • Consider getting advice from a professional planning consultant. Note – Council cannot recommend a professional planning consultant.
  • Request a pre-application meeting with one of our planners
  • Call 5320 5640 if you have any questions

When preparing to lodge your application:

  • Order a copy of your title from Landata
  • Get your plans drawn up by a professional architect or draftsperson
  • Create electronic versions of your paperwork as we prefer electronic lodgement

I want to seek pre-application advice

Before submitting a planning permit application we recommend having a pre-application meeting with a Council Planning Officer.

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

During the meeting, we’ll work with you to identify potential design issues and confirm any additional information we’ll need to process your application.

Call 5320 5640 to arrange a pre-application meeting with one of our planners. Please email your plans and any accompanying documents to at least 1 week before your scheduled meeting.

If you don't have this information yet, you can speak to a planning officer for advice by calling 5320 5640.


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 apply. Before applying, you will need to have the following information:

  • Property address
  • Planning permit reference number
  • The cost is outlined in our fee schedule.

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.

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Ballarat Planning Scheme and Amendments
People planning on a map

What is a planning scheme?

Planning schemes are made up of maps and ordinance. The ordinance are the policies and written clauses and the maps depict where the zones and overlays apply within the planning scheme area.

We administer and implement the Ballarat Planning Scheme in accordance with section 6 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.


What is a planning scheme amendment?

An amendment makes changes to the planning scheme. An amendment may be required to implement a new strategy or plan, update local policies, or correct a mistake or rezone land, among other things.

View previous Ballarat Planning Scheme Amendments.

Amendments on Exhibition

Planning Scheme Amendment C216ball

Amendment C222ball - Former La Trobe Street Saleyards Site Heritage Overlay

Amendment C212ball - Lofven Street



Which planning controls affect your property?

The VicPlan website tells you which planning controls affect your property, including which zone you're in and if any overlays apply. 

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