Learn how to apply

The most important part of successfully applying for a planning permit is thorough research and preparation. This website provides a range of information and resources to assist you in preparing an application for a planning permit.

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.


Step 1: Talk to your council planner

Before you start you should discuss your proposal with your local council's planning department to confirm that a permit is required.

The planning officer will also be able to advise you on additional requirements for your application. These depend on the proposal, for example, if it will be assessed as a VicSmart application, involves residential development, subdivision or native vegetation. More information about specific types of permits.

Specific information requirements apply to applications assessed under the shorter VicSmart process and your council planner can advise. View more information and find out if your application may qualify to be assessed as VicSmart.

In some cases the Minister for Planning is responsible for issuing planning permits – find out more about Ministerial Permits.

After you lodge the application, the planning officer will check it and advise you (in writing) within a reasonable time if further information is required. If they do, you should provide the information promptly otherwise the application won't be processed further.

Step 2: Talk to your neighbours

Talk to your neighbours so you are aware of their concerns. Taking the time to talk to them at this early stage may save time later if changes can be made to the plans that address their concerns. Most people appreciate the opportunity to discuss plans before the formal notice process commences, although it will not always be possible to make changes that satisfy everybody.

Step 3: Get professional advice

Consider getting professional advice. Planning assessment and decision-making are sophisticated processes that involve concepts such as respecting neighbourhood character, achieving good urban design outcomes, protecting reasonable amenity and enhancing heritage significance. Council and the community are looking for proposals that will meet their expectations. Getting the right professional advice at the beginning will help develop your ideas so you meet council's expectations and your objectives.

Step 4: Understand the process

The Planning and Environment Act 1987 establishes the planning permit application process. Chapter 3 of Using Victoria's Planning System (PDF, 654.5 KB, 58 pp.) describes the application process in detail and includes use of several diagrams. More details about the process are available below under Step 5 and More information.

Step 5: Prepare your application

Find out the steps involved and the information required to prepare your application.
More information on preparing your application

More information

Planning practice and advisory notes relate to some types of permit proposals. They cover proposals such as applications in rural zones, where flood provisions apply and for dwellings in residential zones.

A Guide to the Planning System: information and guidelines about the planning system in Victoria, including information about planning permit and review processes for occasional users of the planning system.

Chapter 3 of Using Victoria's Planning System (PDF 851.3 KB) contains a more detailed guide to the process. It is designed to help professional planners, officers of authorities, councillors, students, applicants and people affected by planning proposals.

Page last reviewed on 19 June 2015

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