Planning Permits

What is a Planning Permit?

A planning permit is a legal document issued by Council, allowing the use or development of a specific property. Not all building works require a planning permit.

What is the difference between planning permits and building permits?

There are a number of differences between planning and building permits. A planning permit is only required for certain uses and developments, while a building permit is required to construct any building or dwelling.

If required, a planning permit will need to be granted before a building permit can be issued. A building permit cannot be issued if there has been no planning permit provided (if required) or if no other prescribed approval has been obtained.All conditions must be consistent with the planning permit.

Finally, while planning permits are generally only issued by local councils, building permits can be issued by any registered building surveyor under the Building Regulations Act 2006. This includes Council’s Building Department or your own nominated private building surveyor.

If you are unsure, contact Council’s Statutory Planning & Building Control Services department on (03) 9205 2200 for further information.  Visit our Building teams' webpage for more information on building permits.

Do I need a planning permit?

You may need a planning permit to make changes to a property. Some common proposals that require a planning permit include changing the way your land is used (i.e. residential, commercial or industrial); constructing an additional building on the land; adding an extension or veranda to a building; installing a satellite dish; or demolishing a structure.
To find out if your proposed use and/or development requires a planning permit, we suggest you first view the Hume Planning Scheme for zoning and overlays (including any restrictions they may cause).

You can also visit, call or email our Statutory Planning team for further information. When visiting the Council, please ensure that you have a current copy of your Certificate of Title with you so that the planning officer has sufficient information to provide advice on the proposal.

If you would like advice and confirmation in writing, you will need to submit an application for property information with the relevant fee. Receiving written confirmation from Council can take up to 14 days.

What is a Certificate of Title?

A Certificate of Title is a legal document relating to a particular parcel of land. It details information about the property including the current owner of the land, and any relating conditions for further development.

All planning permit applications must include a full Certificate of Title no more than three months old. A copy of your Certificate must also be submitted when applying for information on your property.

To get a Certificate of Title, please visit the Land Titles Office's website, contact them on (03) 8636 2831 or visit them in person at:

Land Information Centre
Level 10, 570 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

We do not hold Certificates of Title, and without these, our planning officers cannot provide advice on any restrictions that may affect your property. 

Do I need to have a pre-application meeting?

If a planning permit is required, Council recommends arranging a meeting to discuss your application before formally applying. You can book a pre-application meeting by phoning (03) 9205 2802 or by emailing

Having a pre-application meeting does not guarantee that your application will immediately be approved when it is lodged with Council, but it will help identify major issues or concerns with your proposal.

You will need to bring copies of:

  • preliminary or concept plans (including information on the site & neighbourhood context)
  • a detailed explanation of your proposal and
  • a current Certificate of Title (including any covenants or additional agreements).

If you have been working with a consulting town planner, architect or draftsperson we recommend that they also come to the pre-application meeting. Find out more by viewing our factsheet.

Do I need to inform my neighbours?

You are not required to inform your neighbour of your application. However, we strongly encourage you to consult with your immediate neighbours as your development may affect them. By talking with your neighbours beforehand, you may clarify any potential issues they have, meaning fewer delays through the planning process for you.

Is there a fee for making a planning application?

Yes. Fees are generally determined by the State Government, based on the expected cost of the development or a use fee. The fee is not for approval, so there is no refund if your application is refused.

The list of fees for the Statutory Planning department can be found on our planning fees page.

How long does it take to process an application?

How long it will take to assess your planning application varies, depending on a number of factors. The statutory timeframe for issuing a planning permit is generally 60 days from the time that it is received by Council. However, if further information is requested, the 60 days will commence from the date that this information is received and deemed satisfactory by the officer assessing the application.

Your application may be classified as a VicSmart application which are considered to be fairly straight forward applications. VicSmart applications have an assessment period of 10 business days.

To get a clearer idea on how long your application will take to process contact the Statutory Planning team after its submission. This will allow for your application to be registered, allocated to a planner and a preliminary assessment to be undertaken.

Factors which may affect how long it takes to assess your application include: 

  • The complexity of the application
  • If there is incomplete information provided, or if we require further information
  • The advertising process
  • Receiving a large number of objections to the proposal, and
  • Consultation with the community.

To avoid potential delays during the assessment process, we suggest that you request a pre-application meeting prior to submitting your application, and when lodging the application, ensure all necessary documents are provided. You can also speak to your neighbours before submitting the application so that they are aware of your proposal.

If the permit is not issued within the 60 day period, you can apply for a review with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal  (VCAT).

For further information view the Decision Timelines for Planning Applications factsheet.

Do I need to hire an architect or a design consultant to prepare my plans?

Yes. A suitably qualified Architect or Design Consultant is required to prepare your design drawings. 

What is the advertising process?

If a proposal may impact on the surrounding land owners or occupiers, your application may need to be advertised. This process is required for most applications, and the responsible planner assessing the application will inform you if this is required.

The advertising process may include:

  • A public notice on the property
  • Letters of notification sent to adjoining property owners, occupiers or beneficiaries and/or
  • A notice in the local newspaper.

 For further information, view the Understanding the advertising process of a planning application factsheet.

Can I contest or appeal council’s decision?

Yes. The applicant can contest the decision of Council to refuse an application or contest the conditions imposed on a permit.

An applicant can appeal or contest Council’s decision within 60 days of the decision being made. An objector has 21 days to appeal against Council’s decision to grant a permit.

What happens if council has not decided on my application within the specified timeframe?

If Council has not made a decision on your application within the specified timeframe you can appeal.

An appeal application is lodged with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to have the matter considered, based on  Council’s failure to determine within the specified timeframe.

Once the matter has been taken to VCAT, we are  not able to issue a decision on the application – approval or refusal of the application is  determined by the VCAT Planning List.

For further information you can view Council’s VCAT factsheet.

Can I extend my permit if I am not able to start or finish the development?

Yes, your permit can be extended providing the request for extension is received before the permit expires or:

  • Within six months of the permit expiry date or
  • Within 12 months of the permit expiry date if the development lawfully commenced before the expiry date and you wish to extend the time to complete the development

 To submit an application for an extension of time, you will be required to complete Council’s form, or submit the request in writing with the relevant fee.

A planning officer will assess your request and the reasons why an extension is required.

Updated : 4:02 PM, 4 March 2020

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