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What is planning?

The purpose of planning is to consider land uses and developments for the present and long-term interests of the community.

Planning permit process

The purpose of planning is to consider land uses and developments for the present and long-term interests of the community. Planning across Victoria is regulated by the Planning and Environment Act 1987, which outlines the planning permit process. The Whittlesea Planning Scheme identifies which uses, developments or subdivisions require a planning permit. This requirement is determined by the planning controls which apply to a property, in the form of zoning and overlays.

To learn more about the zoning and overlays which apply to your property, visit the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DEWLP) website VicPlan where you can generate a Planning Property Report.

If you need help checking if a planning permit is required, you can view our "Do I require a permit" page or contact Council's Planning Team on 9217 2259. Once it is determined a planning permit is required, you can apply on our website at our Planning Services page.

Understanding the planning permit process

Navigating the planning permit process can be confusing, especially if it’s not something you have experience with.

Once you know you need a planning permit, you will need to prepare your application. Depending on the type of application, this may include:

  • A full copy of title including any approved plan of subdivision, and any encumbrances, restrictive covenants, or Agreements under Section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987. This can be obtained online from
  • Cover letter including the reasons why you are applying for a planning permit any relevant background, and details of proposed use or development which is not shown on plans.
  • Architectural plans illustrating the proposed use and or development, including what is existing and what is proposed.
  • Additional supporting documents which will vary depending on what the application is for and the relevant planning controls.

Prior to submitting an application, you are welcome to go to our customer portal and enter some specific information to support with understanding if you need a permit, discuss the application at the planning counter at Council, organise a pre-application meeting or phone 9217 2170.


Timeframes to process applications can range from 10 days for simple, straight forward applications (e.g. replacement of a fence) to in excess of six months for larger, more complex applications (eg. construction of several townhouses on a block).

There are a number of variables that have an impact on the overall timeframe. For example, your application may take longer if insufficient information was provided when the application was lodged, or if there are objectors, if the application is to be decided at the monthly meeting of Council, or if an objector lodges an appeal with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

More information

If you require further assistance, please contact us on 9217 2170 or email us.