Planning permit process

Jump to VicSmart planning permit process

Regular planning permit process

Most applications fall under this prescribed process. Following legislation, we will make our decision based on these steps:

Pre application

A pre application meeting with Council can assist in identifying any issues or areas you need to further consider. Consultation with your neighbours is encouraged.


Your application is lodged with us, registered and allocated to a planner. You’ll receive a letter providing the contact details of your planner.

Request for more information

If we need more information in order to assess your application, we will request further information from you. As part of this process your planner may also raise design issues or other concerns, providing you an opportunity to address these issues.


If your proposal could affect neighbouring houses, businesses, or properties, public notification of the application will be required. We will be in touch with you to arrange this process and to arrange for you to pay the fees associated with advertising the application.

The public notification phase can involve notices by mail to neighbours which are sent by Council, signs on site which you are required to erect and maintain, and a notice in specified newspapers.

We place your application on our website during the notification period for interested parties to view. There is a period of 14 days in which interested people can object to, or support, your application. If there are submissions to your application, we will provide these to you at the end of the advertising period.


The Planning Scheme may specify that your application must be referred to a referral authority. Referral authorities have 28 days in which to respond to the referral.

Your planner may also seek advice from other departments within Council, such as Environmental Health, Infrastructure or Environment.


Our planner will consider your application according to the requirements of the Surf Coast Planning Scheme, the Planning and Environment Act, and other regulations.

We will consider advice from other departments, referral authorities and any objections received. 


If we don’t make a decision on your application within 60 statutory days, you can lodge an appeal with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

There are three possible outcomes:

  • Planning Permit is granted;
  • Notice of Decision to issue a Planning Permit (this is only when objections are received);
  • Refusal to Grant a Planning Permit is issued.


If we reject your proposal, you have 60 days following our decision to lodge an appeal with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a review.

If you disagree with us approving an application, you have 28 days from our decision to lodge an appeal with VCAT for review.

You can find information about lodging an appeal on VCAT's website. 

VicSmart planning permits

VicSmart is simpler and more straightforward. It covers minor applications which have been defined by the State Government. VicSmart exempts your application from referral and public notification.

If we don’t make a decision on your application within 10 business days, you can lodge an appeal with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. If we cannot decide your application because of missing information, inadequate fee, design negotiations or other outstanding matter, you will be informed. Similarly, where a decision can be made but has been inadvertently delayed, a Council officer will most likely inform you and will make a decision as soon as practicable.

If you disagree with Council’s decision, you can lodge an appeal. You can find information about lodging an appeal on VCAT's website.