Firstly they are controlled by two separate Acts of Parliament and administered by separate departments within Council. The Acts can be viewed on the following links Planning & Environment Act 1987 and the Building Act 1993.
You may require a permit under one Act but not the other, some times two permits (one under each) and some times no permit at all.
What should you do to determine what is required? The best way of finding out is to consult an expert, an architect, draftsperson, town planner or building surveyor with local knowledge, or Council departments direct (Planning 9238 1575 and Building 9238 1515). Department of Planning & Community Development Planning Assist unit may also be contacted on 136 186.
In simple terms a building permit deals with a building's structural stability and safety whilst a planning permit deals with local appropriateness of form, location or use - however these provisions can overlap, for example, in the case of siting approval for a house on a larger allotments which is generally dealt with under the Building Regulations and hence the building permit system.
A planning permit can be issued without a building permit a building permit cannot be issued without a required planning permit -and, in such a case, the building permit must be consistent with that planning permit. In other words any required planning permit must be obtained first.
Under the Greater Dandenong Planning Scheme any external work to a house (ie new buildings or additions) on an allotment under 300m2 needs a planning permit and a building permit. For allotments over 300m2 a consent and report under the Building Regulations will be required before a building permit can be issued where Part 4 (siting) requirements are not met.
In the case of land covered by an overlay e.g. Heritage or Building overlay, regardless of allotment size, certain works require a planning permit.
The Planning Scheme controls many aspects of what can be done to commercial buildings and their use. We recommend checking the Planning webpages or contacting the Unit direct for specific information.