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Planning Permits and Building Permits are different, and they are applied for different purposes and assessed by different teams. Depending on your proposal, this means that you may need one or both.
Planning considers the way land is used and developed, and how this impacts the character and amenity (liveability) of the municipality. Council’s Planning Scheme guides decision making and outlines objectives, policies and controls for the use, development and protection of land. Council assesses proposals for the use of land through Planning Permit regulatory process that are aligned with the Planning Scheme. A Planning Permit is a legal document that gives you permission to use or develop land in a certain way. It usually includes conditions and approved plans, which must be complied with.
Building is concerned with safe construction practices and considers whether the construction works and new uses conform to building regulations, the Building Code of Australia and relevant Australian standards. A Building Permit is a legal document, issued before construction commences, to ensure the building meets the minimum requirements for the health, safety and amenity of occupants and the public. Building Permits are issued by Building Surveyors. If you require both a Planning and Building Permit, you must get the Planning Permit before applying for the Building Permit. Having an approved Planning Permit does not mean that you can start construction without first getting a Building Permit.
The Planning Scheme is a legal document prepared by Council and approved by the Minister for Planning. It contains policies and provisions that control land use and development by guiding decisions of Council and other authorities. For example:
The Planning Schemes applies to all private and public land and is binding for everyone, with some exemptions.
The administration and enforcement of the Planning Scheme is the duty of Council as a responsible authority, or where specified in the Scheme it may be other authorities.
Council’s Planning Scheme, amendments and related documents can be viewed here:
Hindmarsh Planning Scheme
Planning Controls are the zones, overlays or other provisions included in the Planning scheme that affect how a lot can be used and developed.
Every property has only one zone. Common zones include:
Zoning aims to avoid conflicts between different types of land uses and ensures that development is appropriate for an area.
Overlays operate in addition to zones. An overlay may seek to achieve certain design and building standards, including:
Not all properties are subject to an overlay. If an overlay applies to a property or lot, it may specify additional requirements in relation to subdivisions, buildings and works, vegetation removal and other matters.
You can search for the Planning information of a property, parcel or crown land to understand what zones and overlays apply at VicPlan – https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/schemes-and-amendments/planning-report-search
Planning decisions are critical to ensuring that we are:
Looking after the long term needs of the people who live, work and visit and to ensure the amenity and liveability of our towns is maintained
Developing sustainable communities with access to jobs, services, infrastructure and community facilities
Protecting our local environment and ensure there is no loss to biodiversity
Safeguarding the economic future of our region and preserving productive farmland
Ensuring that State, regional and local policies affecting land use and development are carried out
Making sure that developments are sustainable and safe for residents and visitors to the region
You can request Copies of Plans for your property here:
Note: Native vegetation is not limited to trees and can include native grasses, areas of bush or scrub, wetlands and rushes or sedges.
Each individual property has a set of Planning controls which specify when a Planning Permit is required. Every application for a Planning Permit requires you to provide a current Certificate of Title (less than 3months old), which will include details of any obligations affecting what can be done on or with the land. To find out what controls apply to your property, you can:
Every property is zoned to provide rules as to how the land can be used or developed. A property generally only has one zone.
Common zones include:
Some properties also have overlay controls. Overlay controls may protect heritage or show areas that require special considerations, like those prone to fire or flooding.
You can confirm the relevant zones at VicPlan https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/schemes-and-amendments/planning-report-search
Overlays operate in addition to zones. An Overlay may seek to achieve certain design and building standards for the land, including:
Not all land is subject to an overlay. If an overlay applies to a parcel of land, it may specify additional requirements in relation to subdivisions, buildings and works, vegetation removal and other matters.
You can confirm the relevant overlays at VicPlan www.planning.vic.gov.au/schemes-and-amendments/planning-report-search
The Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) ensures that careful consideration is given to development applications in areas considered a high bushfire risk.
The BMO triggers the need for a Planning Permit for certain developments and requires that new developments implement appropriate bushfire protection measures.
See the Bushfire Management Overlay for types of development and subdivision that require a Planning Permit.
The Floodway Overlay (FO) identifies land in in both rural and urban areas that, during a flood event, would allow the passage of flood waters or the store flood waters.
The Land Subject to Inundation Overlay (LSIO) have a lower flood risk than FO areas.
The FO and LSIO require a Planning Permit for certain developments and the subdivision of land.
You should seek advice from the Water Catchment Management Authority (Wimmera CMA) before you apply for a Planning Permit if these overlays partly or fully impact your property.
A Heritage Overlay (HO) is used to protect sites that have heritage value, meaning that individual buildings or whole precincts may be covered.
Common reasons for needing a planning permit in a Heritage Overlay, include:
Council offers a Planning pre-application health check service. This allows you to book a meeting with a Council Planner or Planning assistant and gain valuable feedback prior to the application being formally lodged, subject to availability of appropriate staff.
Council encourages all plans be drawn by an architect or draftsperson and be of a professional standard. Plans must include all the required information and be drawn to scale.
The plans should show:
To obtain details of any easements located on your land, check the Certificate of Title and any associated Plan of Subdivision.
Common easements include drainage and sewerage easements however, this is not always the case.
A service authority or any other party may also have “implied easement rights” over the property (e.g. a water asset not specifically covered by an existing easement on the Plan of Subdivision of the title).