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Capital City Zone

The Capital City Zone, applies to the area commonly referred to as the Central City, Central Business District (CBD) or Central Activities District (CAD).

The Capital City Zone works a little bit differently to other zones, as there are many more types of businesses and activities which don’t require a planning permit.

The Capital City Zone covers the whole CBD Grid and also includes the Queen Victoria Markets and parts of Southbank. For clarification as to whether your site is within the Capital City Zone please contact us or visit Planning Schemes Online.
 
The Capital City Zone is split into two schedule based areas, Schedule 1 (Outside the Retail Core) and Schedule 2 (Retail Core). The permit triggers and objectives of these two schedules are very similar.

Use of buildings in the Central City

In the Melbourne Planning Scheme businesses and activities which don’t require a planning permit are commonly referred to as Section 1 uses.

Common Section 1 uses in the Capital City Zone include use of a site or building for:

  • a dwelling or apartment
  • an education centre
  • an office
  • a shop and some forms of retail
  • a food and drink premises (e.g. a restaurant).

However, there are uses that do require a planning permit before commencement within the Capital City Zone, these are referred to as Section 2 uses. Section 2 uses have potential amenity impacts on surrounding sites that need to be assessed.

Common Section 2 uses in the Capital City Zone include use of a site or building for:

  • a tavern or bar
  • a nightclub
  • a supermarket
  • a car park
  • a department store
  • a hotel

To see whether a use requires a planning permit please check:

Clause 37.04 Schedule 1 (PDF, 43kb) or

Clause 37.04 Schedule 2 (PFD, 37kb)

of the Melbourne Planning Scheme or contact us.

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Buildings and works in the Central City

In the Capital City Zone a planning permit is required to construct a building, alter a building facade or construct or carry out works. This means that all external works require planning approval. 

Some works are required to be to the satisfaction of the Responsible Authority and undergo a simpler assessment process.

It is worth keeping in mind that other controls (e.g. Design and Development Overlay, Heritage Overlay, Special Building Overlay and so on) within the Melbourne Planning Scheme may still require a planning permit for simple matters.

To confirm whether a planning permit is required it is recommended that you contact us.

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Signage in the Central City

The Capital City Zone also provides specific guidance on advertising and business identification signage in the Central City. In the Capital City Zone a retail premises, café, restaurant or shop can erect some types of signs without a planning permit, provided the premises is not located within a Heritage Overlay.

In a Heritage Overlay all signs require a planning permit, even if it is just the content being changed.

In the Capital City Zone the following common types of signs don’t require a planning permit:

  • An under-verandah business sign if it:
    • does not exceed 2.5 metres measured horizontally, 0.5 metres vertically and 0.3 m between the faces of the sign
    • it is located between 2.7 m and 3.5 m above ground level and is perpendicular to the building façade
    • it does not contain any animation or intermittent lighting
  • A ground floor business sign cantilevered from a building if it:
    • does not exceed 0.84 m measured horizontally, 0.61 m vertically and 0.3 m between the faces of the sign
    • it is located between 2.7 m and 3.5 m above ground level and perpendicular to the building façade
    • it does not contain any animation or intermittent lighting
  • A non-illuminated sign on a verandah fascia provided no part of the sign protrudes above or below the fascia.

Most other signs require a planning permit including any sign affixed to the shopfront, such as bulkhead signage above a display window or entrance.

To determine whether a planning permit is required for the type of signage you are proposing please contact us.

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View of a city street