A permit is not always needed to use or develop land. As long as conditions are met, planning schemes allow some change in land use without needing a permit. Some uses or developments of land might be banned.
Planning permits versus building permits
A planning permit is not a building permit.
Council’s Planning Department does not approve the construction or structural integrity of a building.
This is the role of Council’s Building Surveyor, who also issues the relevant building permit in line with the Building Legislation.
If a planning permit is needed for a development, then Council’s Building Department should also be contacted to decide if a building permit is required.
What is a planning permit?
A planning permit is a legal document that allows a certain use or development to take place on a particular piece of land.
The permit is usually for the land for which it’s been granted, although sometimes a permit can be made specific to a nominated owner or operator.
A permit is always subject to a time limit and will expire under specified circumstances.
When is a planning permit needed?
Some of the most common reasons people need a planning permit is:
- Constructing or extending a building, including a house.
- Demolishing a building (if it has a Heritage Overlay).
- Starting a new use on land (particularly where it may create a demand for car parks).
- Displaying a sign.
- Subdividing land.
- Clearing native vegetation, including trees and shrubs.
- Building a house in a bushfire prone area.
- Building a house in a rural area.
- A liquor licence or a changing an existing liquor licence, such as licensing hours.
Confirmation from Council about whether you need a planning permit
Before getting started, make sure you discuss your proposal with the Planning Department to confirm if a planning permit is required.
The Planning Officer will also be able to advise you about any extra requirements for your application.
Organise a pre-application meeting with a Planning Officer. This will avoid delays which often happen because of incomplete applications.