ePlanning is our convenient online planning service that allows you to:

  • lodge and manage permit applications
  • pay permit application fees with our secure online payment gateway
  • track the progress of an application
  • communicate with us directly
  • view applications on public notification
  • make submissions to an application on public notification
  • seek written advice about planning scheme provisions
  • view the Planning Register

Create an ePlanning user profile now.

How do I create an ePlanning user profile?

You can access the ePlanning portal from the Planning pages.

Once you are in the portal you can create a user profile.

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  • Select Register here and complete all the required details
  • Select Register to complete registration
  • Finally, Select Enter Planning Online

You are now ready to use ePlanning for all your planning activities. Simply select the navigation tab for the task you want to start.

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How do I lodge an application for a planning permit?

You must be signed into your user profile to lodge an application for a planning permit.

  • Select Submit an Application and follow the prompts

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How do I view or change an existing application?

You must be signed into your user profile to:

  • upload further information
  • revise your application
  • amend a permit
  • request an extension of time
  • request secondary consent approval
  • submit plans required by a Planning Permit condition (e.g. Plans to comply)

To view or change an existing application:

  • Select Search the Register and look for the application using the search filters
  • Once you have found the application, select Actions and make and choose an option from the drop-down menu




File requirements

  • Plans must be submitted in standard PDF format (not PDF/A or PDF/B)
  • Maximum file size is 1000MB (10GB)

How do I make a submission about an advertised application?

You must be signed into your user profile to make a submission of objection or support.

  • Select Make a Submission and look for the application using the search filters
  • Once you have found the relevant application, select Actions and choose Make a Submission from the drop-down menu

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Petitions are counted as a single submission regardless of the number of signatories. 

Correspondence for a petition will be directed to the first person signing the petition. That person will be responsible for notifying the other parties to the petition of any correspondence.

Submission processes and requirements

  • Submissions can be lodged with Council up until the time a decision is made.
  • When a planning permit application is advertised, the public notice advises that Council will not make a decision for at least 14 days from the date at the bottom of the notice. If you lodge a submission within this timeframe you can be guaranteed it will be considered.
  • Some planning permit applications are exempt from notice and appeal rights; these applications are not advertised and there is no opportunity to object.
  • Section 57(5) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 provides that Council must make a copy of every objection available at its office for any person to inspect (including your name and personal information) during office hours free of charge until the end of the period during which an application may be made for review of a decision on the application.
  • At the end of the public notice period, a copy of any objections will be provided to the applicant. If you make a submission about an application we will advise you in writing of the decision made.
  • If despite your objection the responsible authority decides to grant the permit, you can appeal against the decision. Details of the appeal procedures are set out on the back of the Notice of Decision which you will receive. If the responsible authority refuses the application, the applicant can appeal Council’s decision. 

How do I submit an information request?

You must be signed into your user profile to:

  • request written planning advice
  • request copies of planning permits and endorsed plans
  • request a Certificate of Compliance
  • amend or end a Section 173 Agreement
  • lodge a development plan

To submit an information request:

  • Select Submit an Information Request and choose an option

How do I view the Planning Register?

The Planning Register makes the prescribed information under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 available and also enables you to track the status of a planning permit application.

In the Planning Register, you can:

  • search for planning permit applications by address, street name or application number
  • view documents and plans of advertised planning permit applications
  • track the progress of a planning permit application

To view information about an application:

  • select Search the Register and look for the application using the search filters 
  • select Actions, then View 

Applications exempt from advertising 

Council advertises many applications, but some applications are exempt from advertising.

You can view plans and supporting documentation for applications that are currently on public notice (advertised), but you cannot view the documents for applications that are not being advertised, or where advertising is complete. 




The requirements for giving notice of an application are set out in Section 52(1) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 .

Council advertises many applications, but some applications are exempt from advertising. If an application is advertised, you can make a submission about it up until the time Council makes a decision on the application.

Advertising complete

Council’s requirements for advertising of the application have been met. Submissions can continue to be made up until the time that a decision is made on the application.


A planning officer has been allocated the planning permit application.


An appeal has been lodged with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). VCAT will make a final decision on the application.

Application complete

The application has been finalised and any appeals have been completed.


The application has lapsed as the required further information (RFI) has not been submitted.


The application has been accepted by Council.


A consultation meeting or ‘height pole meeting’ may be held for an application.

A Hearing of Submissions Meeting is held where Councillors have called in an application to make a decision on it. Only those who have made a submission to Council about the application are invited to these meetings; they are not public.

Meeting complete

The meeting has been held.

New application

The application has been submitted to Council.

Notice of Decision

Council supports the application, but objections have been received. An opportunity is available for objectors to lodge an appeal with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Permit issued

A planning permit has been issued. A planning permit operates from the date specified on the permit.

A planning permit can expire in three ways.

  1. If the permit is not acted upon

  2. If the use is discontinued as set out in Section 68 of Planning and Environment Act 1987

  3. If a permit condition provides that a use may only be conducted until a certain time or that works must be removed after a certain time

The owner or occupier of land to which a permit applies may ask for an extension of time where:

  • a use or development allowed by the permit has not yet started and the application is made either before the permit expires or within 6 months of the expiry date
  • development allowed by the permit has lawfully started and the application is made within 12 months after the permit expires.

More than one extension of time can be granted for a permit.

Preliminary assessment

The planning officer has completed the initial assessment of the application. This is the point where all permit triggers are identified, the permit description is finalised and any referrals and advertising requirements identified.

Plans to comply

Plans have been submitted to Council to meet the requirements of a planning permit condition. Advertising of these plans is not undertaken.

Plans to comply issued

The plans have been approved as meeting the requirements of a permit condition.

Ready for decision/Planner assessment

The application is ready for a decision to be made, any required referrals are completed and if advertising of the application is required, it is complete. During this phase, the planning officer will complete a report that recommends whether the application is approved or refused.

Ready for meeting

The planning officer has determined that a meeting is required and is in the process of being arranged. 

Ready to advertise

Advertising of the application is required and is currently being organised.


Statutory referral requirements are identified in Clause 66 of the Planning Scheme, and may include authorities such as DEECA, VicRoads, Barwon Water, Country Fire Authority, Environment Protection Authority, etc. Council cannot decide on an application which has been referred until 28 days from the date of the referral have passed.

Referrals can also be made to Council departments for expert advice on a range of issues including: trees, fire, engineering, waste, construction.


Council has refused the application and has not issued a planning permit.

Request for further information (RFI)

The planning officer has requested further information in order to be able to assess the application. In most cases an application is not advertised until the RFI has been submitted.

Request for further information (RFI) complete

The requested RFI has been submitted and accepted. The statutory clock will reset to 0 days on the date the information was submitted.

Revision received

An applicant can request an amendment to an application before or after notice is given; this request is made pursuant to Section 50 or 57a of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, and, if accepted, results in the statutory clock being reset at 0 days.

The amended application is taken to be the application for the purposes of the Act.

All objections to the original application are taken as objections to the amended application.

Secondary consent

An application has been made to Council for a minor change to endorsed plans. Advertising of these applications is not undertaken.


The VicSmart permit process is a shorter planning process. VicSmart applications are exempt from advertising and appeal to VCAT.


The applicant has withdrawn the application and it will not proceed.

Contact us for advice

For more information or help with ePlanning, our planning team is available by phone, email and in person.

Call     5261 0800

Email  planningapps@surfcoast.vic.gov.au

Visit    Our planning counter is open between 8.30am and 5pm weekdays at 1 Merrijig Drive, Torquay