About the planning process

What is the difference between a building permit and a planning permit?

The planning process determines whether the use or development of land is appropriate. For example whether a subdivision is allowed in a particular area.

The building permit process ensures what you are building is safe and meets the relevant standards and regulations. 

In some cases, you may need both.

Steps in the planning process

Your application has been received. It may be waiting for payment and will be allocated to a planner.

Your application is being assessed to determine if enough information has been provided (including all documents), the application fee has been paid and if the application must be referred to external authorities (eg Melbourne Water etc). If no further information is needed, the application will go straight to advertising.

We’re waiting for more information from the applicant. The applicant will be given a timeframe to send us the information.This can be extended if necessary.

The planer will assess the information to make sure all the necessary information has been received.

The application is now being advertised. Letters have been sent to surrounding properties and the information is shown in Track. Advertising runs for 16 days.

The Planner will review submissions, review key issues and discuss conditions.

The planner will write the final report, forward to the Co-Signer for approval and finalise the report.

Depending on the decision you may see the following:

  • Decided (Approved) - The application has been approved and the permit and endorsed plans are available on Track

  • Decided (Amended plans required) - The planning permit has been approved and is available on Track, however amended plans will need to be provided for endorsement.

  • Decided (Refused) - The proposal has been refused by Council

  • Decided ( No permit required) - The application has been assessed and a permit is not required.


A notice of decision is issued to everyone who objected. If approved by Council, an no appeals are lodged to VCAT within 28 days, a permit will be issued. If an appeal is made, the proposal must go to VCAT.

If an appeal has been lodged with VCAT, the following may occur;

  • Decided - Refused by VCAT - VCAT have made the final decision to refuse the proposal.

  • Decided - VCAT approved - VCAT have made the final decision to approve the proposal

  • Decided - VCAT approved, amended plans required - The proposal has been approved, however amended plans are required for endorsement.