Planning Permits - First steps

Our Statutory Planning Department is responsible for processing planning permit applications and the general administration of the Greater Geelong Planning Scheme.

We issue planning permits for a variety of reasons and projects within our municipality. For example, you may need a planning permit due to zoning/overlay controls which may apply to your land.

When do I need a planning permit?

Some of the most common reasons you might need a planning permit are to:

  • Change the way you use your land
  • Construct a building or to construct or carry out works
  • Subdivide your land
  • Demolish a building on your land
  • Erect signage
  • Undertake vegetation removal, fencing or earthworks
  • Obtain a liquor licence

Who decides if I need a permit?

The best way to find out whether you need a planning permit is to contact us to find out how this scheme affects your land.

The scheme is available for inspection at your Council office, and via Planning Schemes Online accessed from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) website.

Before applying

Before you make a planning application, there are a number of important steps to take.

Speak to a Town Planner

Our planners can tell you whether you need a planning permit under the Greater Geelong Planning Scheme.

If you do need a permit you should get a copy of the planning scheme provisions that we will use to assess the application. We have developed some useful checklists to assist you with the preparation of your application.

Check your land zone/overlays

The planning scheme zones land for particular uses, for example: residential, industrial, commercial and farming. Each zone has a purpose and set of requirements and decision guidelines.

The planning scheme also outlines whether you will need a planning permit, and the matters that we will have to consider before deciding whether to grant a permit.

It will also tell you whether there are specific documents you will need to submit with your planning permit application.

Access the free Planning Property Report.

Talk to your neighbours

Taking the time to talk to your neighbours at this early stage, find out and address any concerns they might have, can save time later.

Most people will appreciate the opportunity to discuss your plans before you start the formal application process. Unfortunately, it will not always be possible to make changes that satisfy everybody, and we may still receive formal objections to your proposal, which we will have to consider.

Consider professional advice

Planning assessment and decision-making can be a complex process. When assessing an application a number of matters must be considered, including:

  • orderly planning
  • amenity impacts
  • design and built form
  • sustainable use and development of land.

Getting the right professional advice at the beginning of the process will help you develop your ideas so that your proposal meets all our requirements, as well as giving you the result you want.

Overview of the planning application process

You can find information on the planning process on the DELWP website: A guide to Victoria's planning system.

You can also find detailed information about the permit process in Chapter 3 of Using Victoria's Planning System.

Page last updated: Wednesday, 25 March 2020