Planning and building support after emergencies

Copy of plans with approved stamped on them

Council is committed to making it as easy as possible for residents to repair or rebuild their homes after being damaged by a storm.

The following information has been developed to help you plan and decide the best way forward to get you back into your home.

Talk to a planner

If your home has been damaged in the recent storms and you would like to talk directly to a planner, please complete the form below and a member of the planning team will be in touch. 

Request a call back


For repairs or replacement of damaged sections of your home

If you are repairing or replacing a small proportion of damaged sections of your home ‘like for like’, you will not require a planning permit.

However, you will require a building permit if structural works are required. A member of Council’s building team or a private building surveyor can advise you if this is the case.

Please note, Council does not issue building permits.

Building permits can be obtained from private building surveyors and fees will apply. Private building surveyors can be found by searching on the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors website or the Victorian Building Authority’s website or searching ‘Building Surveyors’ on the web. 

Some insurers will cover the cost of building permit fees. Check your insurance policy to see if you are covered.

If you need to rebuild following storm damage

If your home needs to be rebuilt, or you decide to renovate or extend, a planning and building permit will be required. Other Council permits may also be required.

Dedicated planning officers have been assigned to process planning permit applications for storm damaged homes so that these applications can be assessed as a priority.

Properties in Erosion Management Overlays may require a permit if a significant rebuild is required. This is due to the risk of landslip for these properties if changes are made to features like constructed drainage or fixed irrigation systems, or if tree removal is required.

Properties in Bushfire Management Overlays may also require a permit if a significant rebuild is required. This is to ensure that appropriate protection measures are implemented for development in bushfire areas.

Property owners with storm damaged homes are eligible to have planning and septic tank permit fees waived. 

For advice, please contact Marcella Simone from Planning Services on 1300 368 333.

While making plans to repair or rebuild your home, consider the following precautions when entering your property:

  • Do not enter the tree-damaged sections of the building until a building assessment has been completed and you have been advised that it is safe to access those parts of the building.
  • Ensure that anyone on the property or adjoining properties maintains a safe distance away from the fallen tree and tree-damaged sections of your building/s, which as a guide is at least one and a half times the height of the wall of the building.
  • Ensure the electricity and solar panel supply to the building is isolated or disconnected by a licensed electrician.
  • Ensure the gas supply to the building is turned off at the gas meter.
  • Secure any loose debris that may be blown around and become a danger in high winds.

If your home has been damaged and it contains asbestos

Buildings built before 1988 may contain asbestos cement sheeting in walls, roofs, floor underlays, eaves, some flues or backing of some vinyl floor tiles. These materials are not generally a health risk unless they are cut or broken up, or ground, in which case they may release asbestos fibres.

If your home contains asbestos and you suspect asbestos materials have been damaged from the storm, it is recommended you contact a licensed asbestos specialist to assess.

More information regarding the safe handling of asbestos can be found at

Checking your septic system

Storms and power outages can sometimes cause damage to septic systems.

Indications that your septic system may require attention include:

  • A pungent odour around the tank and land application area.
  • Blocked fixtures and wastewater overflowing from the relief point.
  • High sludge levels within the primary tank.
  • Sewage flowing up through the toilet and sinks.

Safety issues that should be checked include:

  • Check for broken pits and covers.
  • Ruptured and leaking systems including the pipework.
  • Exposed or damaged pipes that may need to be capped or sealed. If your tank is full or overflowing, contact your service agent and/or licensed septic tank cleaning service.

If your tank or effluent lines are damaged, contact a licensed plumber or drainer for emergency works. For general advice or enquiries around septic systems, contact Council on 1300 368 333.

Rebuilding and wastewater systems

If you need to rebuild your home, either part of whole, and the replacement is a mirror image of your existing dwelling and there is no need for works to be done to the existing waste water system, you do not need a new septic permit. 

If the design of your home will be different to the existing outlay with additional bedrooms and/or wastewater fixtures or there is damage to your existing waste water system, please contact Council to discuss the next step, on 1300 368 333.

Property owners with storm damaged homes are eligible to have planning and septic tank permit fees waived.

The existing system and effluent field will need to be protected during the rebuild and or cleaned up at your property to ensure the possibility of damage to the areas is eliminated.

Council records may or may not show the location of the approved wastewater system and effluent field. If we do not have a plan with the location of the approved wastewater system and effluent field, you will need to contract a plumber to identify the locations if you are unaware of them.

Removing trees

A planning permit is often required if you wish to remove or prune trees or other vegetation.

Our planning scheme controls the removal and lopping of trees and native vegetation (for example shrubs, tree ferns, native grasses) so it’s important to talk to a planner before removing any vegetation. 

For more information, visit our page about tree removals

More information and fact sheets

If your land is covered by an Erosion Management Overlay, it is highly likely you'll need to apply for a planning permit before any works are carried out - including construction, removing trees or vegetation. 

The EMO helps to protect areas prone to erosion, landslip and other land degradation, by minimising land disturbance.

Find out more about the EMO here

If your land is covered by a Bushfire Management Overlay, a permit is required for certain developments and subdivision.

The BMO helps to minimise bushfire hazards, ensuring that development is only permitted where any risks to life, property and the community can be reduced to an acceptable level.

Find out more about the BMO here

The State Government also has useful information about the BMO on their website.

See the State Government's information about the BMO

There can be a lot of information to look through when planning a build or a rebuild. Our Planning Team is here to help wherever we can. 
Call us on 1300 368 333 during business hours (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday) and we'll do what we can to help.