Tiny Houses on Wheels Pilot

Tiny House on Wheels

Applications are open for our Tiny Houses on Wheels (THOWs) Pilot, which will run until December 2026. Applications are for THOWs in the Surf Coast Shire.

During the pilot, a tiny house on wheels must be on a wheeled trailer base and placed on privately-owned land, subject to an agreement with the host.

Potential pilot participants are responsible for:

- sourcing suitable land to park on and seeking permission from the land owner, and
sourcing the tiny house on wheels.

We're unable to provide recommendations on properties available for THOWs placement. We also don't supply the tiny house on wheels, and we're unable to recommend preferred providers of THOWs. The Australian Tiny Houses Association promotes tiny house expos which might be useful for potential applicants. 

If you're interested in considering a tiny house on wheels but would like us to assess a site prior to purchasing a THOWs, please email us so we can provide advice.

Application process

The application process has been designed so that pilot participants do not require a planning permit. Where a planning permit is required - for example if the Tiny House is classed as “buildings and works” - applicants will be considered unsuitable for the pilot.

Applicants need to meet assessment criteria which include legal compliance, environmental impacts, amenity, access, waste management, connection to services and utilities, and safety. The tiny house must not be located in a Flooding Overlay or Bushfire Management Overlay, unless within a township boundary.

If successful, applicants will be granted a Temporary Residence permit under the Community Amenity Local Law 2021, subject to terms and conditions. 

We will consult directly with participants and neighbouring properties during the pilot, to help develop processes and policies to potentially regulate THOWs in the future. 

The pilot focuses entirely on possibilities for affordable housing and key worker accommodation, and does not permit THOWs for short-term leisure-style accommodation. 

View the Tiny Houses on Wheels Procedures(PDF, 82KB)
View Frequently Asked Questions(PDF, 150KB)

View the summary flyer(PDF, 613KB)


  • Compliance certificates for tiny house and site connections (electrical, plumbing and energy rating if applicable)
  • Essential safety measures (smoke alarm and residual current device)
  • Electricity/gas connection, potable water source, wastewater management, and stormwater management
  • Certificate of Title
  • Proposed / indicative site plan


  1. Let us know your interest in applying via this form. This will enable our Planning team to check the location you propose to place your tiny house on wheels on.
  2. Apply for the pilot by completing the full application form or a hard copy application form, available from Council office (1 Merrijig Drive, Torquay) or by calling 5261 0600.
  3. Applications are assessed for suitability, additional information may be requested.
  4. If successful, an invitation to be part of the pilot will be provided with details of next steps.
  5. Further approvals may need to be secured before a permit is issued (i.e. onsite wastewater management system).
  6. On submission of these approvals, a Local Law will be issued, subject to terms and conditions.
  7. At least 14 days before any action is taken to place the tiny house on wheels on the land, Council must be notified.
  8. Council will notify neighbours and provide information on the pilot and how feedback will be obtained.

Important dates and timelines

Overall pilot

  • The pilot will run until 13 December 2026. All permits issued will be valid until this date.

Individual applications

  • Applications will be acknowledged within three days.
  • Outcome of assessment will be provided within 28 days of receipt (including a request for information or advice on suitability for pilot).
  • Local Law permit will be issued within 14 days of receipt of any further approvals/information required.
  • 14 days prior to commencing any site preparations or works associated with installing the Tiny House on the land, Council must be notified to enable notice to neighbours.

Victoria's Housing Statement

The Victorian Government Housing Statement reforms are making it easier for people to build a small second home on the same property through changes to the planning and building systems.

On 14 December 2023, the Minister for Planning approved Amendment VC253 to the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) and all planning schemes in Victoria. The Amendment changes the VPP by introducing a new land use term and siting, design and amenity requirements for a small second dwelling, to implement Victoria’s Housing Statement(PDF, 3MB).

In line with Amendment VC253 and the updates to Surf Coast Planning Scheme, we've developed a Small Second Dwellings summary.

Further information

We welcome questions throughout the pilot. You can provide this via our form, email tinyhouse@surfcoast.vic.gov.au or call us on 5261 0600 and speak to our Planning team.

You can learn more about tiny houses via Australian Tiny House Association.