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Before Applying for a Planning Permit

Before you lodge your planning application, it is important to do your research and get some feedback on your proposal.

Do your homework

  • Research any planning policies or guidelines that may apply to your proposed development or site.
  • Check whether your proposal meets the requirements of these policies.
  • Consider engaging a design professional and/or planning consultant, particularly if your proposal is large or complex.

Prepare your design

  • You may need to engage a surveyor to record the exact dimensions, slope and conditions of the site and the surrounding area.
  • Prepare a site description if required, to illustrate the characteristics of the site and surrounding area.
  • Prepare sketch plans of your proposal.
  • At this stage of preparing your design, it is also important to consider the retention of vegetation and integration of landscaping into your proposed development.

Organise Pre-Application Advice from Knox Planning Services

Council offers a Pre-application advice service to customers who feel they would like some advice from the Planning Services team on a proposed use or development prior to lodging a full Planning Permit Application.

It is recommended that multi-unit development, apartments and change of use applications undergo Pre-application assessment by the Planning Services team prior to lodgement.

How do I request Pre-application Advice?

All Pre-application advice requests are to be made through Council’s Online Services portal. You will need to be registered to use the service. Registrations take up to 24 hours to process. Once registered you can submit Pre-application advice requests online.

Register for Online Services

Request Pre-application advice

All plans and supporting documents must be uploaded at the time of lodgement online and payment of the $90 request fee must also be made via credit card. Following lodgement, you will receive a confirmation email that Council has received your request.

Why should I Request Pre-application advice?

Pre-application advice does not guarantee that a permit will be issued.

However, Pre-application advice will:

  • Indicate if the proposed development complies with planning controls and local neighbourhood character.
  • Suggest changes to the design to increase the chance of Council supporting the application.
  • Inform you of potential drainage, vegetation or easement issues with the development.
  • Avoid cost increases and time delays if the plans have to be re-designed later into the planning process.

What do I need to request Pre-application advice?

  • A full copy of title and details of any encumbrances.
  • A summary of what is proposed and responding to any relevant planning scheme policies.
  • A clear and properly drafted Site Layout Plan – generally at a scale of 1:100 (including floor plans, contours, and location of trees / vegetation to be retained / removed, easements).
  • A clear and properly drafted Elevation Plan – generally at a scale of 1:100 (including the location of all doors and windows, as well as, details of the proposed materials, finishes and colours).
  • Existing conditions plan (including site analysis and design response) – location of significant vegetation (all trees), all easements and services, and any trees or buildings on neighbouring properties.
  • A Site Analysis Plan and Design Response Plan (for medium density housing applications).
  • The Pre-application advice fee is $90.00 and if you proceed with submitting a planning application, the $90.00 will be deducted off the total application fee (please advise Council of this at the time of lodging the permit for the deduction to be applied).

What happens after I request Pre-application advice?

A team of planners will look at your request and determine if there are any problems with your proposal and if your application complies with the Knox Planning Scheme.

A Planning Officer will then either email you written advice or arrange a meeting with you if necessary, to advise whether the unit development is appropriate. This will usually occur within 2 weeks of receiving the request.

Talk to your neighbours

You may wish to talk to your neighbours before finalising your plans. If they are unhappy with an aspect of your proposal, you may be able to reach a compromise before lodging your planning application.

Being up-front from the start will reduce the potential for objections or conflict later on. If there are no objections to what you are proposing, it is likely that Council will take less time to process your application.

Finalise your plans and prepare your application for lodgement

Weigh up the feedback received from Council and your neighbours. Review your plans and incorporate any suggested changes that you think are reasonable.

Finalise your plans and any written material, including your neighbourhood and site description and design response. Read through our application checklist to make sure you have everything you need to lodge your application.

Need Help?

If you have questions, you can contact us on 9298 8125 or alternatively, you can lodge a request below and a staff member will get back to you.

Contact Planning Services

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