No dream home can be built these days without a planning permit and working within city council planning. Understanding these planning processes can help you avoid delays, fines, cost overruns and, worst of all, never seeing the first brick of your dream home laid.
What is a planning permit?
In simplest terms, a planning permit is a legal document that allows for particular use or development of land. This can mean constructing or changing a building, like a home or commercial space, including heritage-listed property; subdividing land; clearing land of native vegetation; or even just displaying a sign on the land in question.
Planning permits shouldn’t be confused with building permits. Building permits are concerned with the method of construction for a building, whereas planning permits are concerned with the use of the land. Depending on what you’re planning to do with the land, you may need to get both kinds of permits.
Why do I need a planning permit?
Planning permits are required to ensure that your intended use of the land is in compliance zoning and other regulations.
Local councils have rules and regulations about how land in certain areas can be used. This can also be related to State Government objectives.
A planning permit ensures that the character and environment of an area is not negatively affected, heritage-listed places are not negatively altered or demolished, and buildings and land use do not conflict with each other. These regulations are designed to ensure that land isn’t used inappropriately, such as large-scale industrial buildings in a residential zone or a house at the end of an airport runway.
How do I get a planning permit?
The first step is to speak with your local council’s planning department. They will let you know what information is required for your permit application. They can also tell you if there’s any immediately obvious reasons for blocking your proposal.
AN application may require site plans, elevation drawings or a written report, but this will depend on the individual requirements of your proposal, as well as your city council’s planning requirements. Many local councils have planning checklists available to help get your application together.
Once you have submitted your application, there’s no set time for when to expect your permit. The length of time can be affected by the complexity of the project and if all necessary documents are included. Speak with your local council to get an estimate for your unique circumstances.
Once you obtain your permit, it will have a time limit. When your permit expires, you will need to repeat the application process. You can, however, apply for an extension if you need one.
Getting a planning permit is relatively straightforward, but it can be a tricky process if you’ve never done it before. You may not even need a permit for the development you’re embarking on, but it is up to you to find this out. Ignorance is not an excuse in these circumstances.
To save yourself time and hassle, it can be worthwhile investing in planning permit services. This way, you can be sure your dream home has the best chance of being built without delays or red tape getting in the way.
For more information about planning permits and the application process in Victoria, visit the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s Planning information site.