How to apply for a planning permit

Before you begin your project you need to check if a planning permit is required.  

Common examples of when you may need a planning permit:

  • a heritage overlay applies to your property 
  • 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).

Applying for a planning permit 

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. In the section below you can check if your application qualifies for VicSmart. 

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.

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. 

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).

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).

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.

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

Application forms for planning permits

More information for planning applications