Permissions & Town Planning

Our Planning Application Guarantee

Whether the project requires building, siting or planning approvals, DCF will coordinate all the relevant information and liaise with the relevant authorities to gain approvals. Our town planning packages are comprehensive and complimented by supporting documents by expert consultants and our approval success rate is in excess of 95%.

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For many people, the thought of obtaining planning approval from their local council can be daunting and complicated. These fears often come from the risks associated with attaining approval and the possibility of facing lengthy blow-outs in time and costs.

This is where we can help. DCF Design Group have secured countless such approvals over the years and have mastered the techniques that can shave months off waiting times many other clients claim to have endured. It is one thing to design a great building, it is also critical to get off on the right foot by strategically developing your application and visually communicating your message to neighbours and council to avoid objection.

Town Planning Packages

Choose from 3 of our Town Planning packages to ensure you get the right inputs for your needs:

  • Premium – A compliant application including full colour and 3D perspectives, initial discovery assessment, additional explanatory details.
  • Comprehensive – A compliant application including our standard colour upgrades.
  • Standard – A compliant application including a black and white 2D presentation.

Our Planning Application guarantee 

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Choose our Premium Town Planning package and we will guarantee the following :
your presentation package ready for submission within two weeks of receiving your final design approval

  • we will attend any planning meetings between lodgement and advertising at no further cost to you
  • we will attend to any Requests For Information (RFIs) from council regarding our drawn presentation at no further cost to you
  • you will also receive a discovery and assessment prior to commencing the design process.

For further explanation on each of these packages and which is best suited to your individual project, please contact us to arrange an initial complimentary consultation.

Get Started Today with our Planning Application Guarantee

  • Discovery + Directions Discovery + Directions
  • Discovery + Directions Discovery + Directions

How to get a YES from council.  Did you know…

…that as many as 30% of town planning applications across Victoria do not get approved at council?
This means that many applications are being rejected or required to go through a potential lengthy and expensive VCAT process.

On the increase

With the increase in regulations surrounding town planning approvals in recent years and councils frequently rejecting housing and development applications, it is critical you invest in good advice.

Luckily there is a way of stacking the odds in your favour

Of the 24 planning applications lodged by DCF Design Group in the last two years, we are proud to say that we have had a 100% approval success rate with only two going through to VCAT.

Our average approval time for Town Planning submissions is 22 weeks.


Town Planning Application Case Study

The Site

DCF Design Group were commissioned to develop four contemporary townhouses on a corner property within the Boroondara City Council. This quiet “post war residential area” had little precedence of townhouses or contemporary developments in the immediate area.

The planned building has a significant increase in built form than the existing home. Council planners were very pleased with our proposal – commenting that the level of detail and our comprehensive drawings made their assessment easier.

DCF Design Group ensure all major stakeholders are involved and consultants commissioned early giving us a comprehensive overview at a preliminary stage.

How early is too early?

For this project we sought advice from council planners and urban designers early and we mapped out a strategic plan of attack for all stakeholders at the sketch stages – before our client went to any significant expense.

Many of our clients have engaged us to undertake feasibilities on potential sites to assist them assess and understand the development opportunities, before they attempt to purchase.

What’s the purpose of engaging with council early in the process ?

  1. to help them realise that you have truly considered their local policy guidelines, strategic framework and the neighbourhood context
  2. to show that you are open to their input and the concerns of council, neighbours and have an overall collaborative approach.

Our approach on this project

We have a strategic workflow process which our team follows through all projects. We presented a detailed preliminary scheme, discussed options and explained our design rationale within the context of the neighbourhood and cited examples of relevant local precedence.

All stakeholders had input in the process. Council planners and urban designers had a chance to actively get involved in certain parts of the scheme’s outcome. This was a positive outcome for both our client and
the neighbourhood.

What did Council say?

Despite the significant change in mass we proposed and the neighbourhood sentiment that was resisting change, the project received :

  • strong appraisal at planner, urban design and councillor level
  • thanks from council planners and urban designers for our refreshing approach
  • praise for our comprehensive application which met all the council requirements – its detail, ease of assessment and visual clarity

The application process

The application process went on to involve more council discussion, intense discussion and explanation with the neighbours and was ultimately supported by council planners, urban designers and the
councillors at the monthly council meeting.

What did the neighbours say?

The neighbours thanked the team for our consideration and complimented us on the design and for making them feel a part of the process.


Finally, the keys points to getting a ‘YES’ for your proposed development from council is to :

  • Have a well considered application strategy
  • Have all stakeholders work in a collaborative partnership
  • Know the needs of the council and the neighbourhood
  • Get council involved early in a collaborative nature
  • To take advantage of our Planning Application Guarantee, log your details to book in a no-obligation Free Initial Consultation. Once we have your details we’ll give you a quick call back in the next 24-hrs to schedule the Consultation and get some basic information about you and your project and so we can both prepare for the meeting.

    Get Started Today with our Planning Application Guarantee

What our Clients say

  • “Understanding what we could successfully achieve with our new home was paramount to us before moving forward.  The Discovery and Direction process was ideal to help us with that – it showed us what the possibilities for our block were, how our design ideas could be best incorporated into one unique concept and an indicative roadmap of process, milestones and likely costs.”

    Trish and Gerhard, Kew
  • “I would highly recommend anyone undertake the Discovery and Direction process with DCF to ensure you understand what is involved both from a financial and time perspective up front.  This relatively low cost exercise gave me a clear indication of where I was heading before jumping right in and possibly hitting some significant roadblocks.  The initial concept we worked up in the process incorporated all my ideas and I was clear on how to move forward to the next stage.  The finished design was amazing and just as per the initial concept.”

    Jim, Brighton East
  • “We are very grateful to have gone through the Discovery & Direction process with Darren and the DCF team.  It enabled us to understand what was possible with the significant renovation of our existing home.  At the conclusion of this process we decided it would be quicker, easier and we would get everything we wanted if we built new rather than renovated.  If we had not gone through this process we believe we would have possibly been very disappointed with a renovation that didn’t meet all of our family’s needs.  Thank you DCF for your professional insights, we really appreciate your hard work and love our new home!”

    Brett and Susanna, Malvern East