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Planning and Design

Planning and Design

Planning Frequently Asked Questions

The information provided below is of a general nature only. Every effort is made to ensure the information as current and accurate, but you should make specific enquiries with Council or the relevant authority/organisation to verify the accuracy of the information.

For further information, or if your question in not answered here, please contact Council's Planning department on 8571 1000 or send an email to council@cgd.vic.gov.au with 'Town Planning Enquiry' in the subject line.


When is a planning permit needed

Before you apply for a planning permit

After you lodge your application for a planning permit

After you receive a planning application decision

Other planning services and general information

 

When is a planning permit needed

Do I need a planning permit?

The Greater Dandenong Planning Scheme consists of zones, overlays and other provisions which determine whether a permit is required. To check which Zones and Overlays affect your property, visit the Planning Maps Online section of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) website www.planning.vic.gov.au

Generally, a permit is required for:

  • Changing the use of your property (eg. shop to office, retail to restaurant)
  • Additions to some residential properties
  • Commercial or industrial development
  • Applying for a liquor licence (except a Limited Liquor Licence or Bring Your Own (BYO) Permit)
  • Constructing or displaying signage
  • Waiver or reduction of car parking (associated with the increased floor space of commercial/industrial buildings)
  • Construction of another dwelling on a property
  • Subdivision of land
  • Creation, variation or removal of easement or restriction

You should not assume that works, however small, do not require a permit. It is recommended that you contact Council's Planning department on 8571 1000 to check if a planning permit is required before proceeding with any building works or use.

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Do I need a planning permit to install a satellite dish?

Some satellite dishes require a planning permit before they can be installed, whilst others can be installed without Council permission.

You need a planning permit if:

  • The satellite dish has a diameter of between 1.2 metres and 2.4 metres and does not meet the three (3) requirements below
  • The satellite dish has a diameter greater than 2.4 metres
  • The satellite dish is to be located on land or attached to a building or structure protected by a Heritage Overlay

You do not need a planning permit if:

  • The satellite dish has a diameter less than 1.2 metres
  • The satellite dish has a diameter of between 1.2 metres and 2.4 metres and:
    1. the dish is not visible from the street (other than a lane) or a public park,
    2. the dish meets building setback requirements from the side and rear boundaries of the property, and
    3. the edge of the satellite dish is setback at least 3 metres from a side or rear boundary where it is opposite a habitable room window (e.g. bedroom window, lounge/living area window, kitchen window) of your neighbours (to the side or back of your property).

If you are unsure whether a planning permit is required, please contact Council's Planning department on 8571 1000 before proceeding.

 

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Do I need a permit to remove a tree on my property?

It is recommended that you contact Council's Planning department on 8571 1000 to determine if permission is required to remove a tree.

Overhanging branches between private properties is a civil matter, and is not handled by Council.  If you are unable to resolve the matter with your neighbour privately, we recommend contacting the Department of Justice Dispute Settlement Centre www.disputes.vic.gov.au

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Can I operate a business from home?

You can run a business from your house/dwelling without a planning permit, as long as it meets the 'Home Occupation' requirements specified in the Greater Dandenong Planning Scheme.

A Planning Permit may be granted to vary the requirements, and approve a home occupation which:

  • Allows no more than two persons who do not live in the dwelling to work in the occupation
  • Has a floor area not exceeding 100 square metres or one-third of the gross floor area of the dwelling, whichever is the lesser
  • Allows no more than one additional commercial vehicle (a commercial goods vehicle, commercial passenger vehicle or tow truck within the meaning of the Transport Act 1983), not exceeding two tonnes capacity and with or without a trailer registered to a resident of the dwelling, to be present at any time.

A planning permit is not required for a 'Home Occupation' sign if the sign does not exceed 0.2sqm in area.

If the 'home occupation' requirements cannot be met, the business will need to be operated from a suitable commercial area.

If you are unsure whether a planning permit is required, please contact Council's Planning department on 8571 1000 before proceeding.

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Do I need a permit to subdivide my land?

Yes, you need a planning permit to subdivide land. In most instances you will be required to apply for a planning permit for a development (for example, the construction of a second dwelling on a lot) before applying to subdivide the land. This is done to ensure that the new lots are able to be used for the purpose of the subdivision.

If the planning permit is approved for the development, subdivision will be dealt with under a separate permit application.

For more specific information about subdivision applications, please contact Council's Planning department on 8571 1000.

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I want to obtain a liquor licence. Do I need a planning permit?

There are many types of liquor licences. Most require planning permission prior to obtaining a liquor licence from the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR).

The type of licence required is determined by VCGLR, not by Council or the applicant. Therefore, you should contact VCGLR to determine the appropriate type of licence before making an application for a Planning Permit. A Bring your Own (BYO) Permit does not need a Planning Permit from Council.

A Permit is also required for the following:

  • A different licence, or category of licence from that which is in force
  • If the hours of trading allowed under any licence are to be extended
  • If the number of patrons allowed under any licence are to be increased
  • If the ‘red line’ (licensed area) is being extended
  • A new liquor licence application

For more information, visit the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) website.

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Before you apply for a planning permit

What is the difference between a planning permit and a building permit?

Planning permits and building permits are different. This means that you may need one or both depending on your proposed work.  

A Planning Permit is for the use and/or development of land, under the Greater Dandenong Planning Scheme.  

A Building Permit relates to the construction of a building only, under the Building regulations.

If you require both permits, you must get the planning permit before applying for the building permit – just because you have a planning permit does not mean that you can start construction without first getting a building permit.

It is suggested that you contact both Council's Building and Planning departments on 8571 1000 to determine which permits you require.

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Can I discuss the development potential of a property with a Council Planner?

Council offers a planning pre-application discussion service where prospective applicants can book a meeting with a Council planner, after which, feedback can be given prior to the application formally being lodged.

Please note that pre-application advice does not pre-empt the assessment or consideration of any planning application lodged with Council.  It is preliminary advice only, related to any plans presented at a pre-application meeting. Prospective applicants are urged to take advantage of this service.

For information on how to access this service, see the Planning Pre-Application Discussion Service section

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Where can I get information about my land?

There are a range of documents available to help you obtain information about land, including:

  • a copy of your land title
  • the zoning of your land
  • what planning regulations apply to your property
  • a planning certificate.

For information and links to obtaining this information, see the property information section of this website.

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How can I obtain a copy of the title for my land?

Every application for a planning permit is required to be accompanied by the Certificate of Title.

A Certificate of Title must be provided for each parcel of land included in the application.  Title information confirms the location and dimensions of the land specified in the planning application and any obligations affecting what can be done on or with the land.

As well as describing the land, a full copy of the title will include a diagram or plan of the land and will identify any encumbrances, caveats and notices. The title information accompanying your application must include a ‘register search statement’ (if available) and the title diagram, which together make up the title.  In addition, any relevant associated title documents, known as ‘instruments’ (such as Restrictive Covenants or Section 173 Agreements), must also be provided.

You can obtain a copy of title by;

  • Visiting the Land Information Centre located at Level 10, 570 Bourke Street Melbourne or by phoning them on (03) 8636 2831.
  • Visiting the Land Data website at www.landata.vic.gov.au and following the general public access links for Titles and Property Certificates.  If your land is also affected by ‘instruments’, you may also need to undertake an instrument search.
  • Alternatively, you can obtain a copy of the title by employing the services of a professional title searcher, conveyancer or solicitor who can assist you with obtaining all the necessary documentation.

Does Council have any guidelines to help me with the requirements for lodging a planning permit application?

Council has a number of information guides and checklists to assist you in completing your application for planning permit. See the Information Guides and Checklists section.

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Do I need an architect to draw my proposed plans?

Council requires all plans be drawn by an architect or draftsperson and be to a professional standard. Plans must include all the required information and be drawn to scale. 

For further information about the requirements when preparing plans to be lodged, please see the Information Guides and Checklists section.

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Do I need a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP)?

The Aboriginal Heritage Amendment Act 2016 came into effect on 1 August 2016 and establishes new provisions and changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.

For information, please refer to the Aboriginal Victoria website.

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How do I make an application for a planning permit?

For guidelines on how to apply for a planning permit, see the Planning Permit Application Process section.

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If I pay the planning permit application fee, do I automatically get a planning permit?

No. The planning permit application fee is a charge that must be paid to the Responsible Authority for consideration of a planning permit application.  Payment of this fee does not guarantee you will be granted a planning permit.

Planning permit application fees are statutory fees made under the Planning and Environment (Fees) Regulations - these fees are not set by Council.  See the Planning Forms and Fees section for more information.

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After you lodge your application for a planning permit

After I lodge my planning application, what is the process and how long will it take?

Once you have lodged your application with Council, the application will move through the statutory planning process, see the Planning Application Process section for further information.

The Planning and Environment Act 1987 specifies a prescribed time of 60 days to determine an application, after which the applicant can refer the matter to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for determination.  Visit the VCAT website for more information www.vcat.vic.gov.au

Many simpler planning permit applications are assessed in less than 60 days, particularly those that are exempted from the notice and appeal requirements of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

The timeframe to determination of a planning application is dependent on a number of factors, including whether a complete application is lodged (ie. does not require further information to be provided), the need to refer the application to relevant authorities, whether public notice is required, and if so, the number of objections received.

For more information about the steps involved in the planning application process, visit the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) website www.planning.vic.gov.au

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How do I check the status of my planning permit application?

Council's Online Planning Register enables any person to track the progress of an application.  You can also contact the case officer (town planner) who is dealing with your application to discuss its progress.

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What is a planning consultation meeting, and do I need to attend?

Council will arrange a planning consultation meeting if objections have been lodged against a planning permit application.

If you are the permit applicant, it is beneficial to attend because you can explain your application clearly to objectors and clarify any issues that are raised.

If you are an objector, it is beneficial to attend because you can discuss your concerns directly with the permit applicant.

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After you receive a planning application decision

I have received a Notice of Decision. Is this a planning permit?

No. A Notice of Decision indicates that Council is proposing to grant a permit. A Notice of Decision means that there is a period of 21 days in which an objector can appeal Council's decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).  If no appeal is lodged, a Planning Permit will then be issued.

An applicant has 60 days to apply to review any of the conditions included in the proposed planning permit. The applicant must notify Council and all objectors if they apply to VCAT to review any of the conditions of the planning permit.

If an objector applies to VCAT for a review any of the conditions of the planning permit they must advise Council and the applicant.

Visit the VCAT website for more information www.vcat.vic.gov.au

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How do I lodge an appeal against Council’s decision at VCAT?

You can appeal Council's planning permit decision by contacting the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). An application for appeal must be made within the prescribed time (being 21 days for an objector or 60 days for an applicant).

For further information regarding the lodgement of an appeal, visit the VCAT website www.vcat.vic.gov.au

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I was issued a notice of decision to grant a permit, I have called VCAT and no appeal has been lodged, can Council issue my permit immediately?

Council cannot issue a permit until the appeal time has expired. Council's normal practice is to obtain written notification from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) stating that no appeals have been lodged.

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I have received a planning permit with a letter saying that Condition 1 plans must be submitted. What does this mean?

A Planning Permit may contain development or use conditions upon which the approval is based. 

Amended plans, if required, are generally requested as the first condition on the Planning Permit. However, you should check the wording of all other conditions of the Planning Permit, as other information or actions may be required.

Amended plans and/or documents which meet the requirements of these conditions must be submitted in order to obtain endorsed or approved plans.  Building works and/or use must not commence until a set of plans have been endorsed.

For more information, please refer to the Submission of Plans Complying with Planning Permit Conditions section, or contact Council's Planning department on 8571 1000.

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When does my permit expire?

A Planning Permit will generally have an expiry condition noted on it. The duration of time is calculated from the issue date of the Planning Permit, not the date of any amendment granted or the date of endorsement of plans (unless an extension of time has been obtained).

If there is no condition on the Planning Permit, the Planning and Environment Act 1987 specifies that a Planning Permit expires within two years of the issue date of the Planning Permit.

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My planning permit has nearly expired. Can I extend the expiry date or do I have to apply for a new planning permit?

An application to extend the expiry date of a planning permit must be made:

  • before or within 6 months after the permit expiry date, where the use or development allowed by the permit has not yet started; or
  • within 12 months after the permit expiry date, where the development allowed by the permit has lawfully started before the permit expires.

For further information, see the Extension of Time for a Planning Permit section.

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Can I amend my planning permit or endorsed plans?

Planning permits generally consist of two documents: the planning permit and the endorsed plans.  You can propose changes to the planning permit or the endorsed plans, or both.

An application to amend a planning permit or endorsed plans must be made in writing – see the Amending a Planning Permit or Endorsed Plans section or contact Council's Planning department on 8571 1000.

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What is a Section 173 Agreement?

A Section 173 Agreement is a legal agreement made between Council and other parties under Section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.  

A Section 173 Agreement is generally used to reinforce controls and restrictions of a Planning Permit, or to make it clear to prospective owners and purchasers of what restrictions apply to the land.  Not all Planning Permits require one, but you will need to read the conditions of the Planning Permit carefully and act on it if there is a requirement to do so.

The person required to enter into a Section 173 Agreement would usually engage a solicitor to prepare it, or contact Council to obtain the name of their solicitors. The cost of preparing and registering a Section 173 Agreement is met by the applicant.

The agreement is registered on a Property Title by a reference (dealing) number.

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Other planning services and general information

I have received a notification letter in the mail about a planning permit application.  How can I view the application?  How do I object to an application? What can I object about?

Advertised material is available during the advertising period via the Online Planning Register or in hard copy at the Planning Counter (Level 3, 225 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong).  Please note that electronic documents are not to scale.

If you wish to object to a planning application, please refer to the information in the Making an Objection to a Planning Permit Application section.

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How can I find details of planning permit applications in Greater Dandenong?

A list of past and current planning applications can be viewed via the Online Planning Register.  

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Can I get a copy of a planning permit and/or endorsed plans?

Anyone can request a copy of a planning permit and/or endorsed plans for a property. Requests should be submitted on the Request for copy of a planning document and/or written advice form. A fee is applicable for this service – see Forms and Fees section.

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Can I receive written advice regarding a planning matter?

Council can provide formal written advice regarding a planning matter.

Requests should be submitted on the Request for copy of a planning document and/or written advice form. A fee is applicable for this service - see the Planning Forms and Fees section.

It is recommended that as much information as possible is provided in order for Council to provide accurate advice.

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What is VCAT?

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) is a State Government appointed panel of experts that independently review planning decisions made by councils when appeals are lodged.  VCAT conducts public hearings and considers submissions made by all parties before making a decision.  

For more information about who can lodge an appeal against a decision with VCAT and how to go about it, visit the VCAT website www.vcat.vic.gov.au

 

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What is the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)?

The community infrastructure levy is a financial contribution made by each property owner towards local infrastructure that is required to meet the future needs of the community in areas where the levy applies.

The levy currently applies to the Keysborough South residential area. The levy must be paid by the property owner/s before a building permit is issued.

This levy is a one-off payment and is subject to any CPI changes on 1 July each year.  Click here to view the current contribution rates

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What is a Development Plan?

A Development Plan is a document prepared to meet the built form and land use requirements for an identified area outlined in Development Plan Overlay schedule of the Greater Dandenong Planning Scheme.

The purpose of a Development Plan is to identify areas which require the form and conditions of future use and development which is required to be shown on a development plan before a permit can be granted to use or develop the land.  A development plan also exempts an application for a planning permit from notice and review if it is generally in accordance with an approved development plan.

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What is a Certificate of Compliance?

A certificate of compliance is a document issued by a responsible authority in accordance with the Planning and Environment Act 1987 which provides for two types of certificates (fees apply - See Regulation 15):

  1. A certificate stating that an existing use or development of land complies with the requirements of the planning scheme
  2. A certificate stating that a proposed use or development (or part of a proposed use or development) would comply with the requirements of the planning scheme

In either case, the certificate states the facts at the date of the certificate. The certificate must be issued or refused on the basis of the provisions of the planning scheme.

NOTE: A certificate of compliance is not a form of development approval.

If a use or development complies with the planning scheme, there is no need to apply for a certificate before proceeding.  However, a certificate gives some certainty in interpreting a scheme, or in establishing the extent of existing use rights that predate the planning scheme.  It may also be useful to a person other than the developer who needs to rely on it, for example, a financial institution lending on the security of the land.

Application for Certificate of Compliance Form (PDF - 82.5 KB)

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