Planning Permits

Building permits relate specifically to the construction of a building. However depending on the zoning and overlays of the land, a planning permit may also be required under the Planning and Environment Act. Planning permits are legal documents giving permission for a land use or development, and are a requirement of the local council Planning Scheme rather than the Building Act.

If a planning permit is required, it must be obtained before a building permit can be issued (however, both applications can be made at the same time). A planning permit does not remove the need to obtain a building permit.

Time taken to process your application is largely dependent on the nature, scale and complexity of the individual application.

Most applications involve some form of referral to other expert parties and others will require the advertising of the application to nearby landowners/occupiers. The referral and advertising processes add time to the overall assessment time.

Processing time for applications can vary from as little as three weeks to as long as six months.

The registered building surveyor must not issue a building permit if a town planning permit is required, and they have not been provided with a copy of the town planning permit and stamped approved plans.

Check all covenants, and planning zones and overlays. The best way to find out whether you need a planning permit is to contact the council's Town Planning Office. It is advisable that where an applicant has already checked whether a town planning permit is required and has been advised that one is not required, that they obtain evidence in writing to present to the Registered Building Surveyor. For more information see: A Guide to the Building Code of Australia (BCA)

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