Dependent persons unit

In most cases under the Nillumbik Planning Scheme, with the exception of the Rural Conservation and Green Wedge Zones, a planning permit may not be required for a (DPU) provided it is the only DPU on the lot.

The Nillumbik Planning Scheme defines a DPU as:

  • "a moveable building on the same lot as an existing dwelling and used to provide accommodation for a person dependent on a resident of the existing dwelling"

The Nillumbik Planning Scheme defines a moveable building as:

  • "a structure, other than a tent, caravan or vehicle, which is designed to be moved from place to place on more than one occasion"

To assist proponents and building surveyors, Council will provide written advice and endorse appropriate plans to properly record all actions to limit potential future disputes where a planning permit is not required for the DPU. To facilitate this, the following information must be provided:

  • Full and current copy of property title, including copy of title plan, along with copies of any restrictions, covenants or agreements
  • Three copies of a site plan to scale and with dimensions showing the layout of all existing and proposed buildings and works, particularly noting the location of the existing dwelling, proposed DPU and lot boundaries if the property consists of more than one lot
  • Three copies of detailed plans of all proposed buildings and works to scale with dimensions showing:
    • the floor layout of the proposed building
    • building elevations, including building materials and colours
    • finished floor levels
  • Details demonstrating that the DPU is a moveable building in accordance with the definition above
  • The planning information administration fee ($115)

The owner may be requested to sign a statutory declaration declaring that:

  • The DPU will be removed from the lot within 3 months of it no longer being required for a dependent person
  • The DPU will be removed from the lot prior to the lot being sold

If the proposed building does not fit the above criteria, then it may be regarded as a second dwelling on the lot, and in those circumstances either a planning permit will be required or it may be prohibited altogether.

A building permit will be required for the DPU. It is recommended that you contact Council's Building Unit on 9433 3243 or your nominated building surveyor regarding the requirements for obtaining a building permit. A septic tank permit will also be required from Council's Public Health Unit if reticulated sewerage is not available to the proposed building.

Notwithstanding the above, a planning permit may be required to remove vegetation to facilitate the siting of the DPU on the land. Due to the complexity of the vegetation removal controls within the Nillumbik Planning Scheme, it is imperative that you confirm permit and information requirements with Council's Planning Unit before commencing any vegetation removal, destruction, pruning or lopping. Note that substantial penalties apply for any illegal vegetation removal or destruction.


This advice is to be used as a general guide only. Council has made all reasonable effort to ensure the information is true and accurate. However, it is recommended that readers seek professional advice before acting or making decisions on the basis of this information. For any questions or clarification, please contact Council's Planning Services on 9433 3343.

Page updated 2 February 2015