Understand the Planning Permit Application Process

What are the key steps to the Planning Application process?

There are a number of steps involved in our planning process, from pre-application to planning decision. Not all applications require every step.

Seek Planning Advice

It is recommended that you seek the advice of a Planning Consultant to ensure you are fully informed and prepared. You can also contact Council for either informal or written advice once you have a clear proposal and related plans to help with the discussion. 

Request for Verbal Advice - Free Service

Request for Written Advice - Paid Service

Hindmarsh Shire Council is keen to assist development in line with the Hindmarsh Planning Scheme. Planning advice can be legally binding, so it is important that this is provided in writing and based on a clear written description of what is proposed. Planning advice can only be provided by a delegated planning officer. Planning permits are separate to those issued under Local Laws, Building or Environmental Health.

Request for Written Advice Form(PDF, 164KB)

Utilise Planning templates and guides

Before you submit your application, we recommend fully exploring the information available in the Planning sections of the website to ensure you have everything required for the application and assessment process.

Engage with your neighbours

Share your project and resolve challenges where you can prior to applying to Council.

Submitting a Planning Permit Application

For any new Planning Permit or Amendment for a Planning Permit you will need an to apply online, via mail or you can deliver an application directly to one of our Customer Service Centres.

Apply Online

Welcome to our online portal for lodging planning applications and enquiries - GreenLight.
You will need to create a user account within GreenLight, and then you can submit planning applications and enquiries online.

By utilising GreenLight and lodging your application or enquiries online, you can view the status of your application at any time.


Apply in person or via mail

If you prefer to submit a paper form, complete an Application for a Planning Permit(PDF, 295KB) and return it to any of our service centres or mail to Hindmarsh Shire Council, PO Box 250 Nhill VIC 3418.

You will need to include:
  • Completed application form
  • Cover Letter detailing the proposal
  • Plans drawn to scale and fully dimensioned including:
    • Existing Site Plan
    • Proposed Site Plans
    • Proposed Elevation and Floor Plans
  • Copy of Title and any restrictions (produced in the last 90 days)

VicSmart Applications

You need to confirm with Council if your application qualifies for the Fast Track VicSmart application stream. If so, Council will direct your application through the VicSmart process. You must then complete an Application for a VicSmart Planning Permit(PDF, 405KB).

Required Information for a Planning Permit Application

All planning applications require the following information:

Planning Permit Application

A complete Planning Permit application must include the property address, a detailed and clear proposal, property owner’s details, cost of the development and any required signed declarations.

How-to-complete-a-application-for-plannig-permit.pdf(PDF, 263KB) 

Certificate of Title

A current copy of the Certificate of Title (less than three months old), including the registered search statement, plan of subdivision and any restrictions that apply to the land, such as covenants or Section 173 agreements.

You can purchase a copy of your current Certificate of Title from


One copy of the site, elevations and floor plans. Plans must be to scale (1:100 or 1:200).

Site plans

A site plan is a bird's-eye view which shows your existing and proposed development, and the set-back to boundaries and neighbouring properties/developments.

It must show all structures on the site and any other features, such as vegetation, car parks, driveways, and crossovers. The plans should distinguish clearly between the existing structures and features and those that are being proposed.

A short, written summary should be provided detailing the site coverage, floor area, number of parking spaces, the area proposed for landscaping and any other relevant details. 

Floor plans

A floor plan is a bird's-eye view of the existing and proposed structures in your development. It should show the layout of the building, the location and dimension of walls, windows and doors, and the use of each room and area within the building. 

Elevation plans

Elevation plans are side-on views of your proposed development. Elevations of all four sides (north, south, east, west) should accompany your application.

All plans should show/include:

  • details of construction materials and colours (ie: Basalt Colourbond)
  • the height and length of walls, including to the apex of the building from natural ground level
  • the slab or footing details
  • the dimensions of windows and their height above natural ground level
Complimentary Application Health Check

After you have compiled your application, Council is happy to provide a complimentary check of your application as a preliminary assessment to advise if it is ready for submission. This check is to ensure that the application documents meet the minimum requirements needed before the application is lodged and allocated to a planning officer.

An appointment is required for the handover of the application for the complimentary health check to commence and the check can take 1-7 business days.

Payment of Fees

Council’s Planner will assess the application to calculate the fee. Once the fee amount is determined, then an invoice is raised and provided to the applicant for payment. All Regulatory Planning fees can be viewed on the Department of Transport and Planning website here: Fees (

The application is considered lodged once payment is received.

Payment of Fees What happens once my Planning Permit application is lodged?

Following the lodgement of your Planning Permit application, there are several other steps that may be required, most of which occur between Council and other external authorities or interested parties. It is unlikely that the applicant will be required to liaise with external parties.

Assessment and Referrals

The planning officer will assess the application and determine if your application needs to be referred to external authorities and/or internal departments.

Assessment and referrals take 7 to 28 days to complete. For applications that require referrals, the process may take up to a further four weeks to coordinate responses from internal and external departments.


Request for Further Information (RFI)

The planning officer may request further information from you based on the detail provided in your application. You can minimise your chance of receiving a request for further information by following any pre-application advice.

Once the planning officer issues a request for further information, applicants usually have 30-60 days to respond. If the requested information is not submitted within the prescribed time frame, the application will lapse.

The planning officer typically takes 7-14 days to assess the response to the further information request. For applications that need re-referrals, the process may take up to four weeks to coordinate responses from internal and external departments.


Advertisement of Planning Applications

If your Planning Permit application involves use or development of land that affects other properties, your application may be advertised. The application may be notified by a:

  • Mailout to surrounding owners and occupiers
  • Notices on site
  • Newspaper notes
  • Combination of the above

Plans and supporting documents are advertised on Council’s website and hardcopies can be made available to view by appointment.
Other people in the community may lodge an objection to your planning application.

In some instances, your planning officer may encourage early public engagement at the pre-application stage to reduce likelihood objections. 


Objections Received

If objections are received, you may be asked to provide a response to the concerns raised by the objector or make changes to the proposal.


Decisions Made for Application

Your application is formally assessed and a decision is made. There are 3 types of decisions that can be made on a Planning Permit application, these are:

  • Issue a Permit
  • Issue a notice of decision to grant a Permit
  • Refusal to grant a Permit


Appeal to VCAT

An applicant or objector can appeal a decision at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). 


Comply with Permit Conditions

Once a planning permit is issued, it is your responsibility to make sure that the land use or development is consistent with the permit conditions.

More information relating to permit conditions is available in the Post Assessment section for Planning.

Not all of these steps are required for each type of application. 

FAQs - Applying for a Planning Permit

How long does it take to assess my application after lodging?

Once you have lodged a complete application with Council, the assessment will follow the Statutory Planning process. The time it takes to assess will be dependent on the complexity of the proposal, the applicant’s response to any request Council makes for further information, and times may also be impacted if the application needs to be advertised to surrounding properties or referred to external authorities.

You can contact Council for guidance on the level of complexity and the expected timelines once your application has been formally lodged.


Can a Council Planner check my application before I lodge?

It is recommended in most instances that you seek the assistance of a professional Planning consultant, architect, or draftsperson for the application. Council has limited resources in the Planning team; however, the wesbite resources will help ensure you include all the necessary documentation prior to lodging.

Please be aware that Council officers cannot assess a Planning application prior to lodgement or provide guarantees of approval prior to formal assessment.


What is the Planning Permit Application fee?

Planning Permit application fees are statutory fees made under the Planning and Environment (fees) regulations - these fees are not set by Council. The fee must be paid to Council, as the responsible authority, for consideration of a Planning Permit application. Payment of this fee does not guarantee you will be granted a Planning Permit.