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Planning Permit Applications
Do I need a Planning Permit?
Whether you need a permit for your proposed land use and/or development will depend on the zone in which your land is located, whether any overlays apply to your land or whether the development is subject to any particular provision.
In each zone some land uses can be conducted without a permit, some need a permit and others are prohibited. The category into which each use falls directly relates to the primary purpose of the zone. For example, use of land for a dwelling in a Residential Zone does not need a permit.
Sometimes, even though the use may not need a permit, the development associated with the use, like the construction of a building, some earthworks, clearing native vegetation or creating an access to a highway, may require a permit.
To find out whether a permit is required for any aspect of your proposal you need to talk to your Council’s planning officer about what you wish to do.
Obtaining a planning permit can take as little as a few days or up to a number of months, depending on the complexity of the proposal.
The Planning Department can be contacted by telephone on (02) 6071 5100.
The Planning Application Process
Meeting with Council's planning officer while you are developing your proposal is very important. It will assist you to determine whether you need a permit, whether the proposal is consistent with State and local policies, whether the proposal meets the relevant controls and what supporting information will be required for Council to assess your application. This early consultation will help in developing your application, as you will be able to design your proposal in accordance with the relevant controls.
How do I apply for a Planning Permit?
If you have been advised during the pre-application consultation that you need a planning permit for some aspects or all of your proposal you need to:
- Complete the application form;
- Prepare the appropriate supporting documentation; and
- Lodge these (along with the appropriate fee) with Council, by post or in person.
What supporting documentation do I need to supply with my Planning Permit application?
The type and level of detail of supporting documentation required by Council will depend on the nature of the proposal. For most applications the following is required as a minimum:
- Copy of title to the land;
- Existing conditions plan;
- Plan of proposed development (in the case of a development application); and
- Explanation of the proposed use - hours of operation, number of employees, etc (in the case of a use application).
Sufficient and appropriate supporting documentation is important to enable Council and the community to fully understand the proposal and for Council to make a well-informed decision.
If this information is not submitted with the application, your application will be delayed while the Council writes to you requesting it.
If Council believes that your proposal may have an impact on other people, like your neighbours, you may be requested to advise them about your proposal. This advice may in the form of a notice posted to them, or a notice placed on the site, or a notice in the local paper. Council will advise you if you are required to undertake any notification and in what form. If Council undertakes this notification on your behalf, fees will be applicable.
In response to this notification, surrounding land owners may lodge objections to the proposal. These objections must state how they believe the proposal will affect them.
In considering the application, Council must take into account the concerns raised in the objections. Council may involve the applicant and the objectors in a mediation process to attempt to resolve any concerns, prior to determining the application.
Council may also send the application to other agencies, such as the Department of Environment and Primary Industries or VicRoads, for advice or direction. These are called referrals. In some cases, the planning scheme dictates that the application is sent to certain agencies. The response may include a requirement that certain conditions be included on any permit granted or may require that the application be refused.
Even if not required by the planning scheme, Council may choose to send the application to another agency if it believes the proposal may impact on their interests or the agency may be able to provide Council with some advice to assist in assessment of the application.
Assessment of the Application
The Council planner prepares a report describing the proposal, the relevant policies and planning scheme requirements, the assessment process, any objections and referral comments and the response to them. They then make a recommendation about whether or not a planning permit should be granted. The Council planner has to judge how well a proposal meets policy objectives in the planning scheme and they may have to strike a balance between competing objectives.
If no objection is standing, a senior officer of the Council may make a decision to grant a planning permit under delegation, rather than it being decided by the full Council. A decision made under delegation is usually quicker because the application does not have to wait for a Council meeting.
Where applicants or objectors disagree with Council's decision they can lodge an appeal with the Victorian Civil Administration Tribunal (VCAT).
Before lodging your application for a planning permit, have you discussed your proposal with Council’s planning officer to determine:
*What approvals are required?
*Whether it is consistent with State and local policies and meets all relevant controls?
*What supporting information is required?
Planning applications must include:
- Fully completed application form;
- Prescribed fee for application;
- Copy of the title;
- Existing conditions plan;
- Plan of proposed works;
- Site plan showing location of proposed buildings, works or land use;
- Dimensional plan of proposed development; and
- Other supporting documentation.