How long does the planning permit process take


We are mindful that planning permit applicants are often under time and financial pressures, and seek to process all applications as efficiently as possible. However, there are strict processes (as described above) that must be followed when assessing an application. It is important that applicants have a good understanding of the process and the potential time that it can take to reach a decision.

State Government regulations stipulate that applicants can refer their application to VCAT if we fail to make a decision within 60 days of receipt. If you are asked to provide further information, it is 60 days from the date all the relevant information is received and any advertising requirements are met.

Realistically, depending on the size and detail of the proposed works, it can take anywhere from four weeks for small applications, and much longer for large-scale applications. The more steps needed to pass through the assessment process, the longer a decision is likely to take.

Timeframe for large, complex development

For example, an application for the construction of a four-storey apartment involving a subdivision or town house development may need to go through the following stages (please note timeframes are estimates only and will vary):


Planning permit process Timeframe

We check application for all relevant information and to see if everything has been filled in correctly or if there is anything missing

1-2 weeks

We ask the applicant for further information and then waits for applicant to respond

4 weeks

We send application off to external agencies for their assessment and then waits for them to respond

4-8 weeks

We advertise the application for the required four weeks (public notification period) to get community feedback

4-6 weeks

We get objections and organises community consultation or deputations meetings. We need to give community members several weeks notice before holding a meeting.

4 weeks

We assess the application in accordance with planning guidelines and puts together a report with recommendations and wait for Councillors make a decision.

2-4 weeks

If the applicant or community is not happy with the decision and appeals to VCAT

12 weeks

Total Timeframe: 31-40 weeks (about 10 months)

On the other hand, an application to replace a front fence or to construct a swimming pool may involve no public notification or attract any objections and can skip straight to:

  • reporting -1-2 weeks
  • assessment and then a decision by a planning officer - 1-2 weeks

Total Timeframe: 2-4 weeks

Tips to save time

To make sure that your application is processed as quickly as possible:

  • speak to your neighbours in advance about your proposal
  • speak to a Council planner before lodging your application
  • ensure that all the necessary information is included in your application when it is lodged
  • work openly with us and objectors (if any) to come to a compromised agreement, if necessary

If you are concerned about the time it will take to process your application, our Council officers will be able to provide you with an estimated timeframe.

VicSmart fast track planning applications

We follow the Victorian Government's VicSmart process for straightforward planning applications.

Viewing planning permit applications

Track your current permit applications online.

For more information

Call us on 9243 8888 or enquire in person at our Statutory Planning counter at the Civic Centre.

Last updated: Wednesday, 11 October 2017, 2:58 PM