Planning basics

What is a planning scheme?

A planning scheme is a legal document which sets out objectives, policies and requirements for the use, development and protection of land in the area to which it applies. A planning scheme regulates the use and development of land through planning provisions to achieve those objectives and policies.

Each of the 79 local government area in Victoria are covered by a planning scheme. Many of the controls are the same across the State and some are particular to Nillumbik, so it is important to check the controls for a particular property.

Planning schemes are prepared by the local council or the Minister of Planning and approved by the Minister for Planning.

Nillumbik Shire Council's planning objectives, policies and requirements are found in the Nillumbik Planning Scheme.

You may need a planning permit

You may need a planning permit to do certain things on your property, depending on where you live and the zones, overlays and particular requirements affecting your property. These rules are outlined in the Nillumbik Planning Scheme.

You may need a planning permit to:

  • build a new house or multiple houses
  • build an extension or do other works on your current house
  • build a new shed, garage and carport
  • subdivide land
  • run a business from home
  • operate a business
  • change the way a property or building is used, particularly where it may create a demand for car parking
  • display advertising or business related signage
  • sell or allow people to drink alcohol at a premises
  • do earthworks, includes excavations, raising an area or bringing in fill
  • remove or destroy vegetation (trees and other plants)
  • OR for a combination of any of the above

Check the planning controls that apply to your property

To find out what the planning controls are for your property:

1. Go to the Victorian State Government’s VicPlan website

2. Start by typing the address in the search box, then select the result you require from the suggestion list that appears. The area will be shown highlighted on the map and the details will also be displayed in the information panel to the left of the map.

3. From the information panel on the left, Click ‘Create Planning Property Report’. This report then shows you the planning Zones and Overlays that are relevant to the property. You can click on the hyperlinks contained in this report to view each clause of the planning scheme that is relevant to the property.

For help using the VicPlan tool you can go click here on the VicPlan website, or watch the following video here.

Planning schemes are complex documents, so please call our Planning Services team if you need any help on 9433 3343.  Council can help you determine if a planning permit will be required, if you lodge a Planning Information Request here

Check your Certificate of Title

As well as the controls in the Nillumbik Planning Scheme, there may also be restrictions on the property’s Certificate of Title that you need to be aware of.  These are written as encumbrances on the title, and may include a covenant or Section 173 Agreement. 

You should go online and obtain a copy of the Certificate of Title at Landata.

Before you start any works

Please do not start works unless you are absolutely sure you don’t need a permit or you have already obtained one.  Council regularly receives complaints from neighbours when buildings and works occur, or when someone is using land without a planning permit.  We are happy to work with you to help you understand if you need a planning permit.

Can I get some Information before I lodge an application?

Yes! Nillumbik has a dedicated Planning Advisory Service where you can make a time with Council’s Senior Planning Advisory Officer to obtain feedback on your planning proposal prior to lodging an application.  This is a free service offered to prospective applicants. To be able to provide you with useful information and feedback, you will need to have preliminary plans, as well a recent search statement of the property title and a description of what you are proposing.  The more information you provide, the more comprehensive our feedback can be.  For more information see pre-application meetings.