What is the Process Involved in Obtaining A Town Planning Permit

If you are planning to change the use of a site and/or build a development, there is a high probability that you will require a town planning permit. A town planning permit is the first step in obtaining the right to use and/or develop a site to ensure that development projects abide by the relevant State and Local policies, Local Council zoning and overlay restrictions. 

If a planning permit is required and a permit is issued, the next step (if construction is applicable) is to apply for a building permit to begin the construction process of a development.

Let’s take an in-depth look at what’s involved in the town planning process and how long the process may take.

What Is Council’s Role when a Planning Permit Application is Submitted to Council?

Once a town planning application has been submitted to Council, Council’s town planning department will evaluate your proposal against Council’s Planning Scheme. Your local Council’s Planning Scheme will outline the objectives, strategies and requirements of State and Local policies, suitable and prohibited uses for your site and overlay restrictions which apply. The Planning Scheme also considers factors such as car parking requirements, traffic, noise, privacy and environmental implications of your project. The ultimate objective is to ensure that your development is suitable for the proposed site.

Note: A planning permit is not always required, so it is worth contacting your local Council or our office for assistance.  

How Long Does the Planning Permit Process Take?

Local Government is given 60 statutory days to make a decision on a planning application. The planning process may be extended if further information is required by Council. There are also other variables including consultants, referrals and Council meetings which may extend this period.   

What Elements Can Negatively Affect The Town Planning Permit Process Time?

Your process may be delayed for any number of reasons, many of which are entirely outside of your control. Examples include:

  • the complexity of the project,

  • the efficiency of the Council,

  • objections from neighbours, third-party authorities, Council meetings, or

  • whether the application is required to be heard at the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal.

 How Terrain Consulting Can Help Speed Up Your Town Planning Permit

Although we can’t make the Council work any faster, we can expedite your application through advice and guidance based on our industry expertise. During the pre-application stage, we assist our customers in preparing as much relevant documentation as possible in a language that the Council understands. Once we’ve submitted the application, we retain close contact with the Council to respond to any inquiries and update our clients on the status of the project. As a result, our clients can significantly reduce their processing time, which allows them to get on with the job at hand. Contact the team at Terrain Consulting Group to get started.

Town PlanningGavin Tan