• VCAT
Planning permits in Victoria

March 6, 2019

Planning permits in Victoria

A planning permit is what is granted to you by your local council following a successful planning application. A planning permit will have conditions attached to it that are contained in the permit. There can be any number of conditions attached to the planning permit but usually there are around 20 – 40 conditions for residential developments.

However a planning permit only forms part of your approval. You will also be required to submit amended plans to council to obtain your full planning approval. This process is commonly known as Condition 1 plans and is part of the planning process for most planning applications in Melbourne and Victoria.  

Condition 1 plans on planning permits 

Once the planning permit has been issued the permit conditions have to be responded to. This is through amendments to the plans that address the further requirements contained within the permit conditions. The amended plans are then resubmitted to council for approval. Once the council are satisfied the relevant conditions of the permit have been met they will endorse the plans with the council stamp and date. Both the planning permit and endorsed plans then form the full planning approval.

If the condition plans aren’t resubmitted to council then the plans cannot be endorsed and the application will not be approved. The endorsed plans are then used as a basis for the construction and structural drawings that will be used during construction. It is important to note the permit conditions will only require minor changes to the plans. They will not drastically change the development.

Planning permit expiry

Planning permits have an expiry date which is calculated from the planning permits issue date which is stated on the planning permit. There are usually two expiry dates; the date the development needs to have started and the date the development needs to have finished. The permit does not give a specific date but will state for example; work must be started within two years of the permit being issued and finished in four years. If the development is not started and/or finished by these dates then the permit will expire. You can apply to council to extend your permit if you wish. You can extend your permit for 1 – 2 years and council’s in Melbourne and Victoria will usually approve the request if it is the first time the particular permit has been extended. 

Planning permit cost

The cost of a planning permit will depend on many factors such as the type of development and the cost of any professionals you engage.

The cost of the planning application fee paid to council to obtain the permit is dependent on the cost of the development and goes up on a sliding scale i.e. the more costly the development the higher the application fee. Most local councils in Melbourne and Victoria have the same standardised fees for each class of application.

Here is an example of some of the residential planning application fees:

Residential Development of One Dwelling ONLY

– $10,000 or less                             $195.10

– $10,000 to $100,000                      $614.10

– $100,001 to $500,000                    $1257.20

– $500,001 to $1,000,000                $1358.30

– $1,000,001 to $2,000,000            $1459.50

Development of land including two or more residential dwellings 

– value less than $100,000                                            $1119.90

-100,001 to $1,000,000                                                   $1510.00

– $1,000,001 to $5,000,000                                            $3330.70

– $5,000,001 to $15,000,000                                          $8489.40

– $15,000,001 to $50,000,000                                        $25,034.60

– Greater than $50,000,000                                          $56,268.30


If the estimated cost is less than $10,000                                      $195.10

If the estimated cost is greater than $10,000                                 $419.00

VicSmart application to subdivide or consolidate land                $195.10

Please note these are an example of fees and are subject to change. To confirm the correct application fee for your development visit your council’s website or contact their planning department.

How long does it take to get a planning permit in Victoria  

The time it takes to obtain a planning permit depends on many factors including;

  • The complexity of the development
  • The efficiency of the council
  • the amount of applications that the council are processing at the time
  • if there are any objections to the development
  • if there are any planning restrictions or covenants on the site
  • inaccuracies in plans or unforeseen town planning issues

Taking these factors into account the average time from the application being lodged to a permit being granted is around six months. The Victoria State Government planning website has a Planning Permit Activity Monthly Report where you can find out the total number of planning application lodged to your council along with the average days it takes them to decide on an application. This will give you can indication of how your council are tracking and how long your application may take.  It also provides data on how many application have been approved and refused each month.

Drainage engineering plans  

Drainage engineering plans must be submitted to council for approval in order for you to obtain a building permit to start construction of your development.  Council’s like Knox and Banyule require drainage engineering plans to be completed before they endorse development plans and issue the planning approval.

However most council’s do not require this and the drainage engineering plans can be completed and submitted to council after the planning approval has been issued.

It is important to find out whether or not your local council needs drainage engineering plans submitted before or after planning approval. Not knowing can cause delays in your application as you may not have organised the plans to be produced at the right time.