How to apply for a planning permit

Do I need I planning permit? 

Generally, you need a planning permit when you are:

  • changing the use of your property (eg. shop to office, café to retail)
  • making additions to residential properties
  • commercial or industrial development
  • applying for a liquor licence
  • constructing or displaying signage
  • waiver of car parking (associated with the increased floor space of commercial/industrial areas)
  • demolition of a building (particularly within heritage overlay).

Heritage overlay

Two-thirds of Yarra is covered by a heritage overlay.

If your property is under a heritage overlay then a planning permit is required for all works and demolition (including painting and fences).

Applying for a planning permit 

Once you have worked out that a planning permit is required, you can ask a professional to lodge your application or you can prepare your application yourself.  

Start by downloading and completing the Application for Planning Permit Form (460KB, PDF).

You must complete all sections of the form as incomplete forms will not be accepted. If you would like a hard copy of the form, please pick one up from the Richmond Town Hall or ask for one to be mailed out to you.

What information do I need to submit with my application?

The information that you need to provide will vary depending on the details of your application. However, for all applications you must provide the following:

How much do planning permits cost?

Planning application fees are set by the Victorian government. The lodgement fee depends on the type of proposal.

Select the link below to find out more about planning application fees.

planning permit fees.

The fee must be paid at the time that a planning application is lodged. You can pay by credit card, cheque or money order.

*Note: All Visa / MasterCard transactions incur a 0.5% surcharge.

How do I lodge my planning permit application?

You can lodge your planning permit application by:

  • Email:  (note: fees apply for Council to print hard copies of your application)
  • Mail: Yarra City Council, PO Box 168, Richmond VIC 3121 (Attn: Statutory Planning). 

How long will it take for my application to be processed?

We will process planning permit applications as quickly as possible. We're mindful of the time and financial pressures that applicants are often under.

Under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 we have 60 statutory days to make a decision on an application, unless the application qualifies for the VicSmart process.

Depending on the size, complexity and detail of the application it may take us longer than 60 days for us to process. Please read the tips below to ensure your application is processed as quickly as possible.

How can I make sure my application is processed efficiently?

  • Speak to your neighbours about your proposal before lodging your application.
  • Seek professional advice or pre-application advice from one of our planners before lodging your application.
  • Make sure that all of the required information is included in your application.
  • Select one person (permit applicant) to be in contact with us.
  • Work collaboratively with us and objectors (if there are any) at an early stage of the application process.

Does my application qualify for VicSmart?

VicSmart is a streamlined assessment process for straightforward planning permit applications. The Victorian government decides which applications can be processed under VicSmart. 

Vicsmart applications are:

  • Not advertised.
  • Assessed against VicSmart provisions in the Yarra Planning Scheme.
  • Not required to be referred to external authorities during the application process.
  • May still require further information from you.
  • Required to be determined by a planner within 10 business days  (calculated from the time that the planner receives all relevant information).

Examples of VicSmart applications include:

  • Application for a fence (front, side and rear)
  • Application for a roller door.
  • Installation of an air conditioning unit (not visible from the street).

To check if your application qualifies, please go to the Vicsmart website

The VicSmart process involves 4 simple steps:

  1. Prepare: Check the planning scheme, discuss your proposal with us, pick up checklists and any other information.
  2. Submit: Submit the application to us with all the required information.
  3. Assess: Our planner will assess the application against pre-set criteria.
  4. Decide: Our planner approves or refuses the application within 10 business days.

Contact us

If you're unable to find an answer to your planning question on this page, please contact us: