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How to apply for a planning permit

Planning permit application requirements vary between different types of permits.  Find out about the planning process and what information you need to provide with your application.

Applying for a planning permit

Before you begin a new development or land use you may need to apply for a Planning Permit.

A Planning Permit gives you permission to use or develop land in a certain way in accordance with the Knox Planning Scheme.

After a Planning Permit is granted, you may also need a Building Permit to carry out the works. You can lodge applications for a Planning Permit and Building Permit at the same time, but the Building Permit application can only be processed once the Planning Permit is granted.

Certain applications are eligible to be fast-tracked under the VicSmart process.

Step 1: Before you apply for a planning permit

The amount of detail you need to provide in a Planning Permit application will vary, depending on the planning controls that apply to your land and the complexity of the project.

To help you understand what you need to prepare, ask for some pre-application advice from our Planning Services team.

Step 2: Submit a planning application

You can submit your application:

Online

You can now apply, upload your plans and documents and pay your application fees for your planning application using Council's Online Services. You must be a Registered User to use this service.

Register for Online Services

Apply for a Planning Permit

In Person or by post

You will need to complete a planning application form and submit it with all the required documentation and planning fees. Either post it to 511 Burwood Highway, Wantirna South VIC 3152 or come in to our offices during business hours at the same address in person.

After you have submitted your Planning Permit application, it is registered and allocated to a Planning Officer. The Planning Officer is responsible for processing and assessing the application.

Step 3: Initial assessment

The Planning Officer assesses the submitted documentation to ensure there is sufficient information to make a well-informed decision.

The Planning Officer may request further information within 28 days of receipt of the application. The application is put on hold until this information is received. If the information is not received within the prescribed timeframe, the application will lapse and cannot be considered any further.

Further information can be uploaded digitally using Council's Online Services. You must be a Registered User to use this service. The easiest way to upload any additional information is to follow the link in the email sent to you by Council, requesting Further Information.

Alternatively, you may:

  • log in
  • select 'Online Registers'
  • select 'My Planning Applications'
  • select the relevant application
  • select the 'Object, Support or Further Info' button at the bottom of the page
  • select 'Provide additional information requested by Council'.

You will then be able to attach additional documents.

Log In to Online Services

In some cases, the application may be referred to other Council departments for technical or specialist advice on matters such as traffic, stormwater or trees. The application may also be referred to external authorities, such as Melbourne Water, VicRoads or CFA for specialist technical advice. External authorities have 28 days to respond to Council.

Step 4: Advertising a planning application

If the Planning Officer determines that the application may cause detriment to adjoining properties or the neighbourhood, the planning application will undergo Public Notification, or Advertising.

Many planning applications will need to be advertised and this is done in the form of a Notice of Application. The advertising period is a minimum 14 days but has been extended to 21 days to allows for postage delays during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. You can view plans and supporting documentation for planning applications which are being advertised.

The Notice of Application can consist of: a mail out to surrounding owners and occupiers; a notice on site; notice in the newspaper; or a combination of these.

There is a fee associated with the advertising process, however Council will notify the Applicant in writing of the cost, the type of advertising necessary and the process for the advertising.

Council cannot make a decision on an application until the advertising and notice period is complete.

Find out more about advertising a planning application and objecting to a planning application.

Step 5: Consultation with objectors

Community members may lodge objections to the Planning Permit application.

If objections have been received, the Planning Officer may organise a consultation meeting with interested parties, and invite the relevant Ward Councillor to attend.

The meeting aims to identify and understand issues raised, and potentially agree on solutions. No decisions are made at these meetings.

Step 6: Making amendments to a permit application

You may amend your application at any time during the process. But if you make an amendment after advertising, the application may have to be re-advertised and additional fees may apply.

Step 7: Detailed assessment

The Planning Officer thoroughly assesses your application against all relevant policies and requirements of the Knox Planning Scheme. They review all submissions received and any comments from other Council departments and referral authorities.

The Planning Officer then prepares a report and a recommendation.

Step 8: Decision by Council or delegate

The Council or a delegate of the Council (generally a senior statutory Planning Officer) will make a decision on the application, according to Council's Instrument of Delegation.

If the application is to be decided by the Council, the applicant and any objectors will be notified when the application will be reported to a Council meeting for a decision. Council meetings are generally held on the last Monday of the month.

Possible decision outcomes include:

  • if there are no objections and the application is supported, Council issues a Planning Permit.
  • if there are objections, but the application is supported, Council issues a Notice of Decision (NOD) to grant the permit.
  • if the application is not supported, Council issues a Refusal to Grant the Permit.

When we issue a Planning Permit, it may be subject to conditions that need to be met. If this is the case and we ask you to amend your plans, you will need to make the requested changes and resubmit the plans to your Planning Officer for endorsement. Council may also request the submission of landscaping, drainage or other specialist plans for endorsement as conditions of the permit. See the Submitting Permit Condition Plans page for more information.

Appealing Council's decision

Council’s decision is final unless the applicant, or an objector lodges an appeal.

Once a decision is made, objectors have 28 days and applicants have 60 days to lodge an Application for Review with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Council (VCAT). After the appeal hearing, VCAT makes the final decision and provides written reasons to everybody involved in the appeal. Council then issues the decision, as directed by VCAT.

Information required for a permit

If you do not submit the minimum information, your application will be returned to you. Minimum application requirements include:

  • completed application form (not required for online lodgement)
  • permit application fee
  • copy of Certificate of Title, including title plan and any encumbrances, and a search receipt no older than 3 months
  • cover letter describing the proposal
  • site layout, floor and elevation plans.

You may find our application information checklist useful.

Changing your planning permit application

You may wish to make amendments to a planning permit application that has already been lodged with Council, but which has not yet been decided.

An Amend a Planning Application form can be used both for amendments made before the advertising of the application (Section 50 of the Planning & Environment Act) or afterwards (Section 57A of the Act).

Planning fees

Fees are applicable to a range of planning services and permits.

Find out about planning fees that apply to your project

Metropolitan Planning Levy (MPL)

The MPL applies to any development application where the estimated development cost exceeds the threshold amount. The threshold amount is indexed by CPI for each subsequent financial year and published by the State Revenue Office.

The State Revenue Office is responsible for issuing the Levy Certificate once the MPL has been paid.

Find out more about the Metropolitan Planning Levy and threshold

Types of planning permits and services

The planning permit you require depends on your individual project.

Industrial or commercial use and development

A planning permit may be required for the construction of buildings and works associated with industrial and commercial uses, or to change the use from one industrial or commercial activity to another.

All commercial and industrial applications must include a letter outlining:

  • the extent of the proposed works
  • the nature of the proposed activities (how you intend to use the land)
  • hours of operation
  • the potential impacts of the proposed use/development on the surrounding area (such as traffic, parking, fumes, noise).

Appropriate car parking must also be provided, as determined by Clause 52.06 of the Knox Planning Scheme.

Apply for industrial or commercial use and development

See our change of use application checklist

Advertising signage

Advertising and/or promotion signs are signs used to identify a business, promote an event or product or provide information about a service available on land. In most instances, these signs require a planning permit.

Signage must meet the requirements of Clause 52.05 (Advertising Signs) of the Knox Planning Scheme and signage is generally restricted to that necessary to identify the business or use undertaken on the site.

Apply for an advertising signage permit

Single dwellings, renovations and extensions

In certain areas a planning permit may be required for the construction of a singe dwelling or extension and / or additions to a single dwelling. The need for a planning permit may be triggered by zoning or overlay controls or the size of the land.

Find out more from our single dwelling and extensions checklist.

Your proposal may be able to be considered as a VicSmart Application. See our VicSmart page for further details.

Apply for a single dwelling, renovation or extension

Home-based businesses

A home-based business is an occupation or business carried on in a dwelling or on the land around a dwelling by a resident of the dwelling.

Home based business activities must not adversely impact on the amenity of the area (for example, because of hours of operation, smell, noise or parking of vehicles), and the person that is conducting the business must use the dwelling as their principle place of residence.

A ‘home based business’ must meet the requirements of Clause 52.11 (Home Based Business) of the Knox Planning Scheme.

See our Home Based Business Handout for more information

Find out more about other types of planning services and permits we provide.

Refund requests

You may request a full or partial refund of a planning or building-related fee.

Please note: Council grants refunds at its own discretion.

Request a refund

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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