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Applying for a planning permit

A planning permit is a legal document that gives permission for a use or development on a particular piece of land. To obtain a planning permit, an application must be made to the City of Melbourne. If the City of Melbourne agrees with the proposal, it will grant a planning permit.

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We recommend that prior to submitting an application you read Melbourne Planning Scheme - do I need a permit? and check City of Melbourne mapsOpens in new tab to find out what planning controls apply to your property. You can also request pre-application advice

If you are unfamiliar with the assessment and review processes, you should also read the Practitioners guide to Victoria's planning schemesOpens in new tab by the Department of Transport and Planning (DTP).

Once you’ve decided to submit a planning application, you need to ensure you submit all of the required documentation with your application and that you pay the applicable fee.

What information is required?

All planning permit applications must include: 

Failure to submit all required documents will delay assessment of your application.

Please note: The Minister for Planning is responsible for any proposed developments exceeding 25,000 m2, all permit applications at particular sites within the City of Melbourne and certain types of major planning permit applications. For further information, visit Ministerial planning applications.

Application form, guide and checklists

See Planning forms and checklists for all planning permit application forms, guides and checklists, including separate forms and checklists for VicSmart applications.

The checklists are designed to help you provide all of the necessary information and to prevent a delay in your application being processed. They cover specific types of planning permit applications, for example applications to put up signage or construct a fence.

VicSmart applications

VicSmart is a streamlined assessment process for certain types of planning permit applications. VicSmart applications have specified requirements for information, assessment processes and decision guidelines. VicSmart applications are not advertised, and Council has 10 working days, from the receipt of a complete application, to make a decision.

There are fifteen types of proposals that may qualify under a VicSmart class of application:

  • Realign a boundary between two lots
  • Subdivide land into lots each containing an existing building or car parking space
  • Subdivide land with an approved development into two lots
  • Construct a front fence in a residential zone
  • Construct a building or works in a zone (other than a rural zone)*
  • Construct a building or works in an overlay
  • Remove, destroy or lop one tree
  • Minor subdivision, minor buildings and works, painting or tree lopping in a Heritage Overlay
  • Minor subdivision or buildings or works in a Special Building Overlay*
  • Display a sign in a commercial, industrial or special purpose zone**
  • Reduce a car parking requirement
  • Reduce or waive loading/unloading requirements
  • Two lot subdivision in a rural zone
  • Construct a building or works in a rural zone
  • Extension to one dwelling on a lot in a residential zone.

*If your property is affected by other planning controls in addition to the applicable zone (e.g. design and development or heritage overlays) your proposal may not qualify as a VicSmart Application.

**The sign must not; be internally illuminated and/or electronic, have a display area greater than 10 square metres, or be located within 30 metres of land in a residential zone (excluding roads). 

See Planning forms and checklists to download the VicSmart application form, applicant's guide and checklists for each VicSmart application type. 

Further information is available from the Department’s websiteOpens in new tab.

Application fees and payment methods

Refer to Planning schedule of fees to view the application fees.

Contact the Planning Team on 03 9658 9658 if you are unsure which fee is applicable.

You can submit payments in person, by mail or online:

  • In person: Melbourne Town Hall Administration Building, 120 Swanston Street, Melbourne (between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday).
  • By mail: We only accept cheque or money orders for applications received by mail. Please make cheques and money orders payable to City of Melbourne.
  • Online: For applications lodged online, we will send a confirmation email with a reference number and details on how to pay the application fee.

How to submit your application


Go to Lodge a planning application and follow the directions to submit your completed and signed application form and supporting documents.

We'll send you an email with details on how to pay the application fee.

  • You can upload documents individually using each file upload field.
  • Each document's file name should reflect the content of the document, for example 'Certificate of title.pdf', 'Waste management plan.pdf', 'Town Planning report.pdf’. File names should only contain letters and numbers.
  • We accept the following file types: PDF, ZIP, XPS, standard image formats and Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher and Outlook.

By mail (including on USB) and to pay the fee by cheque

Send your application and cheque to: 

Planning Team 
City of Melbourne 
GPO Box 1603 
Melbourne VIC 3001

In person (including on USB) and to pay the fee directly

Go to the Customer Service Centre at Melbourne Town Hall - Administration Building, 120 Swanston Street, Melbourne (8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays).

Please note we accept applications in any format, but our preference is for the above methods. This will help us process your application faster.

How long does it take?

The amount of time it takes to receive a decision varies depending on the complexity of your application and whether all the required information has been provided.

What is a Notice of Decision?

The City of Melbourne issues a Notice of Decision to grant a planning permit if the planning permit application is not exempt from third party notice, is supported and objections to the application have been received.

A Notice of Decision to grant a planning permit is not a planning permit. It is a legal notice that says that the City of Melbourne supports the application if the use and/or development meets a list of conditions. The Notice of Decision to grant a planning permit sets out the conditions.

A copy of the Notice of Decision to grant a planning permit is sent to the permit applicant, any relevant referral authority and all objectors to the planning permit application.

Please note: Before undertaking any work that requires a planning permit, you must obtain your permit – not just a Notice of Decision.

You may also be required to obtain a building permit

What happens once a permit has been issued?

A planning permit is always subject to a time limit and expires under specified circumstances. The responsible authority may impose conditions when granting a permit.

A planning permit contains written conditions and is accompanied by endorsed plans that show what is to be built and how the land can be used. The proposed use and/or development must satisfy all the conditions on a planning permit and comply with the endorsed plans. This means the use and/or the buildings and works must be exactly as shown on the endorsed plans.

The approved planning and building plans must also be consistent.

Application for extension of time – planning permits

Planning permits are always subject to a time limit and other conditions.

If you require an extension of time, prior to the expiry date you will need to complete and submit the Extension of Time to a Planning Permit request form and pay the applicable fee for your request to be considered.

Are building permits the same as planning permits?

No, building permits relate to the method of construction of a building or development. You may still need to get a building permit even though you have been issued a planning permit. Contact a private building surveyor for assistance. 

For more information, see the Victorian Building AuthorityOpens in new tab.

Energy, water and waste efficiency

The City of Melbourne’s Energy, Water and Waste Efficiency Policy is intended to ensure that developments in the municipality incorporate measures to reduce their impact on the environment.

The policy applies to applications for the construction of a building (including alterations and additions) for the purposes of office, retail, education centre and accommodation. 

For more information, read the Energy, Water and Waste Efficiency Local Policy fact sheet.

Waste Management Plan guidelines

The Waste Management Plan guidelines will help developers and planning permit applicants in the City of Melbourne to prepare a plan to manage their development's waste and recycling needs. This is an important part of the planning application process.

A Waste Management Plan must include details of:

  • Land use
  • Waste generation
  • Waste systems
  • Bin quantity, size and colour
  • Collection frequency
  • Bin storage rooms
  • Scaled waste management drawings
  • Storage and waste collection
  • ·Waste contractors
  • Additional waste requirements
  • Signage.

We recommend the following waste generation rates be used for calculating waste volumes in commercial developments:


Waste Management Plan templates are provided for small residential, commercial and mixed use developments.

Large scale developments require a detailed plan, which may need to be prepared by a waste consultant.

If you have any queries or need assistance in creating a Waste Management Plan, contact us on (03)9658 9658. Your enquiry will be referred to a member of our Waste team who will assist you.

our acknowledgement

  • Torres Strait Islander Flag
  • Aboriginal People Flag

The City of Melbourne respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land we govern, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung and Bunurong / Boon Wurrung peoples of the Kulin and pays respect to their Elders past and present. 


We acknowledge and honour the unbroken spiritual, cultural and political connection they have maintained to this unique place for more than 2000 generations.

We accept the invitation in the Uluru Statement from the Heart and are committed to walking together to build a better future.