Do I need a planning permit?

If you are considering doing any building works, want to change the way your property is used, or erect an advertising sign you will probably require a planning permit and/or a building permit. Two-thirds of Yarra is covered by a heritage overlay in which a planning permit is required for all works and demolition (including painting and fences).

The planning permit system helps manage the development of our city. It makes sure developments are suitable for its surroundings, considers possible environmental and heritage impact.

You can find out if you need a planning permit by speaking to one of our planning officers either by appointment or visit the planning desk at Richmond Town Hall. Bring a sketch map of your proposal and address details when meeting the planner.

What is the 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 our 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.

Contact us

Book an appointment with one of our planning officers by calling 9205 5555 or emailing You can also visit the planning desk at 333 Bridge Road, Richmond 3121.