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Planning permit process

This guide will help you understand the steps you should take to apply for a planning permit, and what happens after you apply.

Download our flowchart which will step you through the Planning Permit process

1. Jump onto the Self Service Portal

To assist you with determining if you need a permit, head to our customer portal - This page will assist you in determining whether you need a planning permit for the works and/or activities you propose to undertake on your land.  

After entering the relevant site location, the self service portal will display the relevant property/ies zones and overlays that relate to your property/ies. 

Any information entered will also be captured as part of your Application if you choose to proceed.  

Online Planning Customer portal

2. 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

Zones and overlays

Under the Whittlesea Planning Scheme, every property is located in a specific zone that reflects the main use of that land; such as residential, industrial or rural.

As well as a zone, your land may also have overlays, such as areas of significant vegetation or special heritage significance. Overlays ensure that important aspects of the land are recognised.

The zone, overlay and other planning controls determine when you require a planning permit.

To find out what planning scheme controls apply to your property, request a free report about the specific zone and overlay conditions for your property.

It is important to find out which controls affect your property before you apply for a planning permit.

Is your planning application eligible to be fast tracked? Learn here


3. 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.


4. Submit your application

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

5. Assessment

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.

6. 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 - $16
  • Letters sent to adjoining owners/occupiers and any other affected properties - $12 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.

7. Objections

If your application receives any objections, it will need to be decided at the next available Council Meeting.

Access the Planning Register where you can object to a Planning Permit. 

8. Council decisions on applications

Outcomes of your planning permit application may include approval, refusal, or a notice of decision being issued.

9. 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

  1. Download and fill in the Application for Review form from the VCAT website.
  2. Send it to the Application Registrar of the Planning List and pay the application fee.

VCAT decisions

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:

More information

If you require further assistance, please contact us on 9217 2259 or email