1. Check the Whittlesea Planning Scheme
You should check what zones and overlays affect your property read the relevant sections of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme, which includes guidelines and policies for various types of land use and development. You will need to follow these guidelines, along with any other relevant planning regulations.
The guidelines and policies will help you to prepare relevant documentation for your specific application, and detail any changes to the standard requirements in the Whittlesea Planning Scheme.
2. Pre-application advice
Planning pre-application advice provides potential applicants with the opportunity to receive initial guidance and direction on a proposal.
You must submit supporting documentation and note that any advice given is based on a preliminary assessment only.
Once you lodge a request, a planning officer will contact you directly to arrange a mutually convenient time to discuss your proposal. You can submit a pre-application advice request.
If you are unable to provide supporting documentation and are after general planning advice you can ask to speak with a planning officer at our Building and Planning counter or ask for general advice over the phone on 9217 2259.
Please note this service is currently provided free of charge, however, if you are after written advice you will need to submit a Planning Property Information Request.
3. Submit your application
Lodge your planning permit application in person or by mail. To find out how to apply, what fees to pay and documents to include with your application, see Apply for a planning permit.
After you lodge your application, we will send you a letter with:
- the name and contact details of the planning officer handling your application
- your application reference number
The planning officer will undertake an initial assessment of your application. They may determine that we require more information before we can assess your application further.
Request for more information
If we require more information from you, we will send you a letter outlining the remaining requirements, and a deadline by which you must submit this information.
If you do not give us all of the information needed or write to request more time before the deadline, your application will lapse, ending the application process. If you still want a planning permit, you must submit a new application and pay an appropriate fee again.
5. Publicly advertising a planning permit application
Your application may need to be publicly advertised to neighbouring owners and occupiers.
For a fee, we will send letters to affected owners and occupiers on your behalf, and provide you with a sign for placement on the subject site. The fees for our advertising service are:
- On-site public notice advertising an application - $15
- Letters sent to adjoining owners/occupiers and any other affected properties - $11 per letter
The public notification period must last for at least 14 full days. During this period, any person can make a formal written objection to us about the planning application.
If your application receives any objections, it will need to be decided at the next available Council Meeting.
Find out how to object to a planning permit.
7. Council decisions on applications
Outcomes of your planning permit application may include approval, refusal, or a notice of decision being issued.
8. Appeals and VCAT
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) is a Victorian Government tribunal that deals with many kinds of disputes, including town planning disputes between people and local councils.
Applicants or objectors who disagree with Council’s decision on a planning permit application can apply to VCAT to review Council’s decision.
How to appeal to VCAT
You can find information on how to apply for a review of Council’s decision on the back of the:
- Planning permit
- Notice of decision to grant a planning permit
- Refusal to grant a planning permit
VCAT review process for planning permits
- Download and fill in the Application for Review form from the VCAT website.
- Send it to the Application Registrar of the Planning List and pay the application fee.
One or more members of VCAT decide on your application for review. VCAT decisions can only be an appealed to the Supreme Court on a question of law.
Other permits or approvals
You may need to obtain other permits or approvals besides a planning permit before beginning any building works, including:
- building over easement permit
- building permit from our Municipal Building Surveyor or a private building surveyor
- septic tank permit if the site is located within non-sewered areas
- works in road reserves permit for a new driveway (crossover) or to change an existing driveway
- stormwater drainage approval
- subdivision approval
- relevant business permits
- temporary event permits