The planning permit process

If you are considering doing any building works, want to change the way your property is used, remove a tree or put up an advertising sign, it is likely that you will need approval from Nillumbik Shire Council.

Planning permits give you permission to develop or use land in a particular way.

A planning permit is not a building permit. They are controlled by different legislation and regulations. You may need to get both a planning permit and a building permit. If your project does require a planning permit, you must have the planning permit before a building permit can be issued.

Find out more about the difference between planning permits and building permits.

Guide to the planning permit process

We have made a simple guide to help step you through the process of submitting your proposal to Council for assessment.

Steps in the planning permit process

Step 1.Check if you need a planning permit

  • Find out when you need to obtain approval
  • Check your planning controls (zones, overlays, Certificate of Title)
  • Approval exemptions

Find out more about why planning permits are required

Step 2.Request a pre-application meeting

  • When and why you may require a pre-application meeting
  • What to submit as part of the request
  • How to arrange a pre-application meeting and what to bring

Find out more about requesting a pre-application meeting

Step 3.Prepare your application

  • Advice and application checklists
  • Preparing your documentation, plans and drawings
  • Getting advice from referral authorities

Find out more about preparing your planning permit application

Step 4.Submit your application

  • Planning fees
  • Check your eligibility for VicSmart
  • Register for online services
  • Submit your application online

Find out more about submitting your planning permit application

Step 5.Preliminary assessment

  • Your application undergoes an initial assessment
  • We may request further information
  • Making changes to your application

Find out more about the assessment process

Step 6.Advertising

  • How, why and when your application may be advertised
  • View current advertised planning applications

Find out more about advertised planning applications

Step 7.Final assessment and outcome

  • Council makes a decision on your application
  • Notification of decision
  • You may need to submit plans to satisfy permit conditions

Find out more about planning application outcomes

Step 8.VCAT appeals

  • How to appeal a decision
  • View current and past VCAT appeals and decisions

Find out more about appealing a planning permit decision


The approval time for applications differs depending on the complexity of your application. If we need to advertise your application, it may take up to two months for approval. This time frame may increase if;

View planning applications

Council's online planning application register allows users to search and view current and past planning permit applications.

View planning permit applications >