Welcome to Knox
Skip Links
Visit facebook.com/KnoxcouncilVisit twitter.com/knoxccVisit youtube.com/knoxccVisit our LinkedIn pageContact Knox City Council

Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains answers to the most commonly asked questions relating to Planning. Click on a link below to jump to the answer that you seek.

What's the difference between Planning and Building?

The Planning Permit and Building Permit systems operate under different legislations (The Planning & Environment Act 1987, and the Building Act 1993) and are two very different processes.

When both a Planning Permit and a Building Permit are required for a proposal, the Planning Permit must be approved and issued before the Building Permit can be. The Building Permit must be consistent to the Planning Permit.

Planning relates to the use and development of land for a specific proposal

The Planning Permit process assesses a proposal against council’s planning scheme and the State’s planning legislation, taking into consideration the impact your proposal may have on the site and that of neighbouring land and the environment. Ie hours of operation, loss of privacy, safety or traffic issues and any impact it may have on surrounding environment such as waterways and landscapes.

Planning Permits are issued by Local Councils.

Planning Permits ensure the proposal/development fits with local and state government guidelines.

Planning Permits give authorisation for the proposed use or development on particular piece of land.

It is advisable to consult with the Planning Department as to whether a Planning Permit is required as this depends on the planning controls that apply to the land.

Building relates to the construction or alteration of a building/s, its structural safety and amenity

The Building Permit process ensures that any construction or alteration of a structure/building complies with the Building Regulations 2006 and that of the Building Code of Australia and Building Act 1993.

Building Permits can be issued by either a Municipal Building Surveyor through Council or a Registered Private Building Surveyor.

Building Permits approve and allow building projects to proceed.

Building Permits ensure the building regulations are followed.

Building Permits ensure key structural stages of the project are independently inspected.

Any Building Permit issued must be consistent with the requirements of the Planning Permit, including conditions and endorsed plans, if required. It is advisable to consult with the Building Department as to whether a Building Permit is required in a particular instance, as some exemptions do apply to certain building works.

What is the zoning of my land and do any overlays affect my land?

The Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI) is the relevant zoning authority.

Confirmation of the zoning of land and the presence of any overlay controls can be obtained online through Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI).

Planning Certificates are official statements of the planning controls that apply to a property. They are mainly used to satisfy the requirements of the Sale of Land Act 1962, under which the vendor of a property is required to provide details of the land zoning and any overlay controls or exhibited proposed amendments to the planning scheme.

Planning certificates do not show the locations of zone boundaries and any additional site specific controls. It is therefore important to check the planning scheme text for information on planning provisions and controls. All Victorian planning schemes can be viewed on Planning Schemes Online.

Statements of the zoning and overlays relating to a property can also be obtained at no cost in a Planning Property Report. These statements however do not have the same legal status as planning certificate.

Why do I need a Planning Permit?

Many things that we plan to do can affect other people. Therefore we need to have some process to ensure that decisions we make about land use and development are fair, orderly, economic and sustainable. Consideration of Planning Permit applications gives the local Council the opportunity to assess the suitability of future development and land use.

How many units can I put on my land?

A site analysis must be prepared in accordance with the ResCode requirements of the Knox Planning Scheme. The purpose of preparing a site analysis is to identify the opportunities and constraints of the site. The preparation of a site analysis will greatly assist in determining the development potential of any given site. Based on the site analysis it will be possible to determine the suitability of the site for units, and if so, how many may be appropriate. However, in determining the suitability of a site for units, consideration must also be given to the planning controls and the relevant local planning policies (especially within the Dandenong Foothills area).

We also advise to have a look at our further information webpage on Multi Unit Developments. Should you require to speak to a Planning Officer, please contact Planning Services on 9298 8125 to leave a message for a Planner to contact you within 24 hours.

Do I need a Planning Permit to remove or prune a tree or remove vegetation on my property?

Knox City Council has many controls regarding the retention of vegetation and trees. It is necessary for people inquiring about this issue to contact Planning Services on 9298 8125 with information on the type and health of the vegetation in question. This will assist officers in determining whether a planning permit is required for its removal or pruning.

How do I make an application for a Planning Permit?

It is necessary to complete a Planning Permit Application Form and check the relevant Council checklist to confirm what information and fees are required to be submitted with the application. Information usually required to accompany an application includes plans, reports, photographs, sample products being used and the appropriate fee.

Council encourages permit applicants to consult with one of Council's planning officers prior to formally lodging an application. An appointment can be arranged by calling City Development - Planning Services on 9298 8125.

How long will my application take to be processed?

The time taken to process a planning application will depend on what is being applied for, whether advertising of the proposal is required, the number of objections received and the complexity issues involved. As such planning applications can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months or more to process.

Which planning officer is dealing with my planning application and what is my application number?

Within 7 days of Council receiving your application for planning permit, your application will be formally acknowledged, and you will be informed of the relevant planning officer and the allotted application number.

How do I object to an application for a Planning Permit?

Where a proposal may cause detriment to another person or the amenity of an area, the applicant will be required to notify persons likely to be affected by the proposal. If you wish to object to an application, it must be in writing, stating the reasons for the objection and how you will be affected. Objections can be completed using the standard objection form.

Will my application be considered at a Council Meeting?

Most applications for Planning Permits received by Knox City Council are determined by authorised planning officers under 'delegated authority'. This means that most applications are not formally considered at a Council meeting. Council planning officers will advise you prior to any decision being made, whether an application will need to be considered at a Council meeting. If in doubt, please consult the planning officer handling your application.

What are my appeal rights?

If you have objected to a planning permit application that Council has supported, you have the opportunity to lodge an appeal (application for review) against the decision. The appeal must be lodged at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) within 21 days of the determination date. If Council has refused or supported an application subject to conditions, the applicant has the opportunity to also appeal to VCAT within 60 days of the determination date.

How do I amend a planning permit or apply for an extension of time?

Amended Permits and Plans

An application can be made to Council to amend endorsed town planning drawings. Applications need to include a copy of the amended plans, detailing the proposed amendments and explaining how these changes comply with the relevant sections of the Knox Planning Scheme.

Depending on the number and extent of amendments proposed, an amendment application may be advertised and referred to service authorities.

An amendment application can also be made for the alteration of removal of conditions on a Planning permit. Such applications must provide justification for the amendment of the condition and the likely affect of the amendment/s.

Council does not have the power to amend planning permits or associated plans that have been issued at the direction of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Extension of Time

If you are unable to commence or complete works within the time prescribed on the planning permit, an extension of time can be sought.

Applications for extension of time must include a letter/statement outlining the reason why the works have not commenced, how long the extension is required for and the fee in accordance with Council policy. Applications for extension of time must be made within 3 months of the planning permit expiry date.

How do I get a copy of a planning permit and plans for my property and how much will this cost?

Copies planning permits and plans for your property, may be obtained from Council by applying for a 'request for file information'.

Please refer to Council's Planning Services Fee Guidelines for the appropriate fees relevant to your information request and a Request for Planning Information Form.

Please note that where significant time is involved in locating relevant Council files and arranging photocopying of additional documentation, additional charges may apply.

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

Powered by