Planning Permits - First steps

The City of Greater Geelong Statutory Planning Department is responsible for the processing of Planning Permits and the enforcement of the Greater Geelong Planning Scheme.

  • Council issue planning permits for a variety of reasons and projects within our municipality.
  • Council are bound by the requirements of the Greater Geelong Planning Scheme.
  • planning permits may be required due to zoning/overlay regulations or removal of vegetation.
  • Council also deal with the processing of applications for liquor licenses, and gaming.

Our Statutory Planning Department has extensive experience in statutory planning and can provide advice and application processing services for developments of a major commercial and industrial nature, as well as for all residential proposals within our municipality.

When do I need a planning permit?

Some of the most common reasons people require a planning permit are for:

  • Constructing or altering a building
  • Starting a new use on land
  • Displaying a sign
  • Subdividing land
  • Clearing native vegetation from land

Who decides if I need a permit?

The best way to find out whether you need a planning permit is to contact our Planning Department - you can telephone them on 03 5272 4456.

Before applying

Before you make a planning application to council, there are a number of important activities to consider.

Speak to a Town Planner

Our Planners can tell you if you need a planning permit and make sure that what you want to do is not prohibited. If a proposal is prohibited, there is no point in making an application because it will be refused.

If a permit is required, you should get a copy of the planning scheme provisions that we will use to assess the application.

Discuss any changes that might be necessary to make the proposal acceptable.

Check your land zone/overlays

The Greater Geelong Planning Scheme zones land for particular uses, for example, residential, industrial, business or other. The zones are listed in the planning scheme and each zone has a purpose and set of requirements.

This information will describe if a planning permit is required, and the matters that we must consider before deciding to grant a permit. A zone may also specify information that must be submitted with a planning permit application.

The zone also contains information relating to land uses, subdivision of land, construction of new buildings and other changes to the land.

Talk to your neighbours

Knowing your neighbours' concerns and taking the time to talk to them at this early stage may save time later if changes can be made to the plans that address their concerns.

Most people appreciate the opportunity to discuss plans before the formal notice process commences, although it will not always be possible to make changes that satisfy everybody.

Consider professional advice

Planning assessment and decision-making are sophisticated processes that involve concepts such as respecting neighbourhood character, achieving good urban design outcomes, protecting reasonable amenity and enhancing heritage significance.

Council and the community are looking for proposals that will meet our expectations.

Getting the right professional advice at the beginning will help develop your ideas so you meet our expectations and your objectives.

Overview of the planning application process

The Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) works collaboratively with local government and other key public and private stakeholders to lead State and metropolitan development, strategic and statutory planning, development regulation, and environmental assessment.

Information on the planning process can be found on the DPCD website:

  • Planning: a Short Guide 
  • Planning: a Short Guide accessible version
  • Detailed information about the permit process is available in Chapter 3 of Using Victoria's Planning System

Step two - Preparing to apply

Applying for a planning permit is a process that may take time due to the stages involved. Find information and resources to assist you in preparing to make an application.

Read more about preparing to apply.

Page last updated: Wednesday, 22 March 2017