Planning & Building
For much of its history the City of Yarra has been characterised by an industrial landscape. However the late stages of the last century saw a shift towards higher residential density as population rises and demand for inner city living increased.
As a result, Yarra’s suburbs are a mixture of narrow heritage streetscapes and modern contemporary design.
Adapting and developing the City to meet the changing demands of the 21st century requires very thorough long-term planning.
Council is responsible for developing strategic planning and transport policies to guide the future development of the City.
Council is also responsible for applying planning, building and heritage controls, through the permit process, to ensure that development in the municipality is suitable, safe, sensitive to the environment and preserves significant heritage areas.
For a simple overview of how these processes are integrated refer to Understanding Planning in Yarra factsheet below.
Understanding Planning in Yarra (237.09kB)
Difference between planning and building permits
The planning permit and building permit systems are very different and operate under separate legislation, although they are often related to each other.
A planning permit may be required for development, land use, advertising signs or removing trees depending on the requirements of the Yarra Planning Scheme.
A building permit will be required for most commercial, industrial and residential development including new buildings, alterations and additions to factories, warehouses, shops, dwellings, sheds and in some cases fences and retaining walls. Building permits can be obtained from Council's Municipal Building Surveyor or a private building surveyor.
Before construction or activity can start, a proposed development may require a planning permit, building permit or both.
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