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Compliance and enforcement

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The City of Melbourne investigates identified breaches of the Melbourne Planning Scheme. This includes the investigation of allegations regarding the inappropriate use and development of land. 

Development compliance issues may include:

  • Building works conducted without a planning permit where one is required.  This may include external changes to a property (such as a house extension or demolition) carried out without the required approval
  • Building works that are inconsistent with the approved planning permit or endorsed plans. For example: 
    • Window screenings that are not installed as required on permits issued
    • Alterations and changes to wall heights, materials and colour finishes where specified
  • Illegal use of a property or use inconsistent with planning permit conditions. For example, where an illegal industry is operating, or if conditions specifying hours that a business can operate are breached
  • Changes to the use of land without planning approval, where such approval is required
  • Heritage: works carried out to a building covered by a Heritage Overlay without prior planning approval.

Options Available to Council

Wherever possible Council officers seek compliance in a conciliatory manner. 

However in circumstances where negotiation fails or is considered inappropriate, the Planning and Environment Act 1987 provides for other enforcement options. 

These options include:

  • the issue of an official warning 
  • the issue of a Planning Infringement Notice (PIN) imposing a substantial fine
  • an application to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for the cancellation or amendment of a planning permit
  • an application to the VCAT for an enforcement order
  • prosecution in the Magistrates' Court.  


Building facade