Planning applications

A planning permit is a legal document that gives permission for a use or development on a particular piece of land. To obtain a permit, you must make an application to the local council. If the council agrees with the proposal, it may grant a planning permit or a notice of decision, depending upon whether there are objections to the application.

It is important not to confuse planning permits with building permits. Building permits relate to the method of construction of a building or development. If you have a planning permit you may still need to get a building permit.

Overview and First Steps

Before you make a planning application to council, there are a number of steps to follow. You can also get an overview of the application process itself.

Do I need a planning permit?

A planning permit may or may not be needed to develop or change the use of land. Find out how to determine whether you need to make an application.

Learn how to apply

The most important part of successfully applying for a planning permit is thorough research and preparation. Find out about VicSmart and use the online guide to determine whether your application can be processed as a VicSmart application. Find application forms for all councils and locations in Victoria.

What happens next?

After an application has been lodged, the process can involve a number of different people including the public, the applicant and other authorities.

Having your say

If you are affected by a planning permit application, you can influence what is proposed and what gets approved: any person can inspect the plans and lodge an objection, and an objector also has the right to have a planning decision reviewed.

The permit decision

At the end of the notification period, the council or responsible authority will decide either to refuse a permit, grant a permit or if there are objections, issue a 'Notice of decision' to grant a permit.

Applying for a review

If your permit application is refused by the council or responsible authority, or their decision contains conditions which you are not happy about, you may lodge an application for review to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Amending a planning permit

If you need to change your proposal or the approved plans after a planning permit has been issued, you can apply to council for an amendment to your permit.

More information on permits

Additional information about specific permit subject types is provided to assist in preparing planning applications.

Ministerial interventions in permit applications

The Minister has the power, under Section 58 of Schedule 1 of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act, to 'call-in' or assume responsibility for appeals and permits in some circumstances.

Ministerial Permits

The Planning Permit Application Register Online provides access to up-to-date information on the status of permit applications where the Minister for Planning is the Responsible Authority.

Planning Permit Activity in Victoria

Information about planning permit activity in Victoria and the PPAR system.


Page last reviewed on 4 February 2016

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