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Frequently asked questions:
Town Planning

Do we require a Town Planning Permit for our proposed project?

Generally if your project is within the inner area of the City or Town that you propose to build, or there is a Planning overlay such as a Heritage overlay (i.e. your site is within a designated Heritage area) or it is a small site, the answer is yes. Outer Suburban areas on standard site where the proposal is very similar to the surrounding sites are generally excluded.

Who determines if we require a Town Planning Permit?

The Town Planning Department at your local City, Shire or Council can provide you with this answer, however it does depend on your proposal, and sometimes they do require you to provide them with drawings to explain your request. However, if what you propose is straight forward and within local Planning requirements the answer can be straight forward also.

We can provide you with an initial Design if you wish to handle this part of the operation should drawings be required for the Council to respond to this initial request. Generally as part of the whole fee we perform such inquiries and provide the necessary documentation. If you would like us to make preliminary inquiries place the information on the contacts page and we will respond to your request as soon as we can.

How long does it take to get a Town Planning Permit?

This depends on many factors, This is the part of the Building Process that is most unpredictable as it depends on your design expectations, the expectations of the local Planning Laws and Planning Department and the reaction of the neighbours when the project is advertised. Because of the number of participating bodies in this decision you should start your planning at least eighteen months before you are proposing to go out and look for a builder. If it takes less time than you have some time up your sleeve and you will be less rushed in your decisions making process.

Please also refer to our article - How To Get A Yes From Council for a case study on a town planning application or learn about our Planning Application Guarantee.

Does this mean that if I don’t require a Planning Permit I can start my association with you much later than 18 months?

No, you should start planning for a new design as soon as possible, the application for a Planning Permit does increase the amount of drawings but it does not necessarily decrease the amount of design time. The more time you spend in designing your proposal, the greater he chance of getting it right.

Is there an appeal process if the Council or Shire refuses my Proposal?

The answer is generally yes to this question, however no Planning application can be guaranteed regardless of the quality of the drawings or past success. Objections from neighbours, client expectations and council requirements can sometimes conflict and even when the appeal process (Such as VCAT) is applied the success can never be guaranteed.