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Planning enforcement

Planning schemes require enforcement to make sure they're complied with.

Knox City Council regulates the Knox Planning scheme by monitoring breaches.

The Knox Planning Scheme

A planning scheme is a legal document that controls the way land can be used and developed.

The Knox Planning Scheme:

  • regulates land use and development in Knox
  • protects vegetation where appropriate.

Just like other laws, planning schemes can only work if they're enforced.

It's the duty of a Responsible Authority, in this case, Council to enforce the Knox Planning Scheme.


Enforcement makes sure people comply with the planning scheme.

If there is a clear breach of:

  • the Planning and Environment Act
  • the planning scheme
  • a permit condition
  • Section 173 Agreement.

Council may enforce the breach and impose penalties.

This is more likely if the breach causes harm to the community or undermines development.

We aim to check building issues anytime (24/7) after you let us know, usually within 30 minutes if possible.

Enforcing a breach

Depending on how serious the breach is, Council may:

  • negotiate with you informally to achieve compliance
  • give you a Planning Infringement Notice (PIN) for less serious breaches (a PIN is the same as an on-the-spot fine)
  • take you to Magistrate’s Court. This may be needed to follow up on an infringement notice or an enforcement order. The Court can fine you up to 1,200 penalty units plus Court costs
  • apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for an enforcement order to achieve compliance
  • apply to VCAT for an interim enforcement order if we need immediate action
  • ask VCAT to cancel or amend a permit (for example, for a substantial failure to comply with the conditions of a permit).

Penalties and other options

VCAT or a Court can hear contempt charges if you don't comply with Enforcement Orders. Penalties may include:

  • fines of up to 1,200 penalty units plus Court costs
  • imprisonment

Other options may be available. They include:

  • asking the Court for an injunction
  • in rare cases, doing the works to achieve compliance, then recovering the costs

Get advice

Contact us if you're not sure if your proposal needs planning approval or just need advice.

Council has Planning Investigation Officers to help with planning enforcement matters.

They can also look into reports of planning infringements. Use our Notice of Complaint form to make a formal complaint about a planning matter.

We aim to begin investigation into reports of non-planning permit compliance or illegal land use within 10 business days.

Need help?

Contact Planning Services and we will get back to you.

Or call our Planning Services team on 9298 8000

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