Planning FAQs

What are the steps in the planning process?

We make decisions on most applications following a legislated set of steps.

Steps in the planning permit process

What are the planning fees?

Download the Planning permit application fees(PDF, 46KB) to see all costs involved in your permit application.

If you are applying for a planning permit that requires you to pay multiple fees, you will only need to pay the highest fee and half (50%) of the other fees.

How do I request a copy of a title?

When lodging a planning permit application you must provide us with a full, current (no older than 60 days) copy of the title for each parcel of land that is a part of the subject site. You can get a copy of a title from LandData and follow these steps:

  1. Create your account
  2. Select Order a copy of a title or plan
  3. Enter the address ad confirm property details
  4. Tick the boxes next to Register search statement and Copy of plan
  5. Select next and follow the prompts.

Note: If a covenant or Section 173 Agreement applies to the land, be sure you request a copy of these documents to submit to us.

If you have trouble, call LandData on 8636 2456, or talk to a solicitor or conveyancer for help.

How do I view the planning scheme?

Planning schemes are made up of maps and policies and written clauses. The maps depict where the zones and overlays apply within the planning scheme area.

Surf Coast Shire planning scheme

Where can I find development plans, reference and incorporated docs?

What is the bushfire overlay?

Our planning scheme maps show the homes, communities and environments included in the Victorian Government’s Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO).

The BMO is a planning control applied to properties with the potential to be affected by extreme bushfires, and helps make these properties safer and more resilient to bushfire. Planning permits may be required for new uses and developments in the BMO, including new homes.

The new mapping criteria were developed in partnership with the CFA and CSIRO as part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to implement all recommendations of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.

How do I prepare or change a Section 173 Agreement?

A planning permit might include conditions relating to Section 173 Agreements. Find out about preparing, changing and ending these types of conditions.

How do I change covenants or restrictions?

It’s not easy to remove a restrictive covenant from a title. It may take considerable time and money, as the public notification process is extensive, and Council may still refuse the application if it receives certain objections. The Removal or variation of a restriction checklist(PDF, 75KB) can help explain the process and what to expect.

Where can I find the planning register?

Visit our Planning applications on public exhibition page to the documents on open applications and make a comment.

How do I get planning advice?

Need more information or have a complex inquiry? You can access Council’s Planners by phone on 5261 0800, by email at, or in person at our planning counter at 1 Merrijig Drive, between 8.30am and 5pm weekdays.

Request written planning advice

Pre Application information(PDF, 141KB)

Where can I find checklists, templates and forms?

To help you with the planning process we’ve developed the following checklists, forms and templates. Some are in .docx format and some are in .pdf format, but if you need them in another format please contact us on 5261 0800.






Planning permit application form(PDF, 562KB)

VicSmart planning permit application(PDF, 292KB)

Fee Schedule(PDF, 46KB)

Statutory Planning Fee Waiver and Rebate(PDF, 354KB)

Statutory Planning Fee Waiver Form A(PDF, 126KB)

Submit objection to or support for an advertised permit application(PDF, 104KB)

Withdrawal of objection to an advertised planning application(PDF, 56KB)

Make a change to an application that is still in progress(PDF, 60KB)

Make a change to an approved planning permit under Section 72(PDF, 574KB)

Request an extension of time(PDF, 105KB)

Request secondary consent(PDF, 131KB)

Submitting plans to comply with permit conditions(PDF, 119KB)

Request written advice for planning property information(PDF, 237KB)

Request copies of permits and endorsed plans(PDF, 102KB)

Amend or end a Section 173 Agreement(PDF, 159KB)

Certificate of compliance(PDF, 203KB)

Credit card payment authority form(PDF, 81KB)

Statutory Declaration(PDF, 110KB)


Two or more dwellings on a lot(PDF, 108KB)

Advertising signage(PDF, 79KB)

Change of use(PDF, 136KB)

Commercial or industrial development(PDF, 127KB)

Construction or extension of a dwelling(PDF, 125KB)

Dwellings in rural areas(PDF, 109KB)

Licensed premises(PDF, 132KB)

Removal of native vegetation(PDF, 90KB)

Removal or variation of a restriction(PDF, 75KB)

Subdivision(PDF, 120KB)

Breweries, cideries, distilleries, wineries(PDF, 197KB)

Events and functions(PDF, 188KB)

Bushfire Prone Areas(PDF, 125KB)


Clause 54 Assessment template(DOCX, 53KB)

Clause 54 with NCO1 Variations template(DOCX, 57KB)

Clause 54 with NCO2 Variations template(DOCX, 57KB)

Clause 54 with NCO3 Variations template(DOCX, 58KB)

Clause 55 Assessment template(DOCX, 45KB)

Clause 55 with NCO1 Variations template(DOCX, 57KB)

Clause 55 with NCO2 Variations template(DOCX, 50KB)

Clause 55 with NCO3 Variations template(DOCX, 58KB)

Clause 56 Assessment template(DOCX, 56KB)

Extension of time template(DOCX, 36KB)

Response to DDO1 template(DOCX, 35KB)

Response to DDO20 template(DOCX, 36KB)

Response to DDO21 template(DOCX, 36KB)

Response to DDO22 template(DOCX, 36KB)

Secondary Consent template(DOCX, 36KB)


The Subdivision Process(PDF, 81KB)

Nature Strip Maintenance Guidelines

What's the subdivision process?

We have developed a guide to help you through the subdivision process

Steps in the Subdivision Process(PDF, 78KB)

How do I request a planning investigation?

If you are aware of building or works that you feel may be in breach of the planning scheme, submit a request online.

Find out more about the planning investigation and compliance process.

Do I need to consider access and inclusion requirement in the design of buildings?