When do you need a permit for property and development

Knowing if you need a permit is important before you start any work. Below is a guide to help you get familiar with any requirements that may affect your project

Why do you need to get approval at all?

Most changes to property or land need approval of some sort - whether it's removing a tree,  constructing multiple dwellings, undertaking works and/or extending a heritage property, displaying signs or constructing new buildings.

All developments follow a vast range federal, state and local government legislations. These legislative instruments are there to guide and benefit our whole community - whether it's due to safety, protecting our environment or history, accessibility, or cohesion and character.

For property and developments, our most important guiding controls include:

The purpose of this Act is to establish a framework for planning the use, development and protection of land in Victoria.  The Act sets out procedures for preparing and amending the Victoria Planning Provisions and planning schemes. It also sets out the process for obtaining permits under schemes, settling disputes, enforcing compliance with planning schemes and permits, and other administrative procedures.

The Manningham Planning Scheme sets out objectives, policies and controls for the use, development and protection of land for our entire municipality. The planning scheme guides how land can be used or developed though zoning controls (e.g. commercial or residential) and what other activities can be undertaken on the land (e.g. constructing a new apartment building or units, childcare or medical centre, restaurant/cafe serving liquor, display of business signage, or works to a heritage building ).

The NCC provides the minimum necessary requirements for health and safety, amenity and accessibility, and sustainability in the design, construction, performance and liveability of new buildings (and new building work in existing buildings) throughout Australia.

What types of projects need a permit?

Here are some common projects that need approval - but do contact us even if your project is not listed here:

  • asset protection
  • multi-dwelling developments and apartments
  • new builds - single dwelling
  • buildings and works, including some some internal changes to a building
  • demolition/partial demolition and new works to heritage buildings
  • outbuildings like sheds, pergolas, decks, verandahs
  • removing trees and vegetation
  • new land uses such as childcare centres, medical centres etc...
  • earthworks
  • Septic tanks
  • tennis courts and swimming pools and spas
  • fencing
  • signage
  • subdivision of land
  • covenant removal/variations
  • consent for any works or the like if your land has a Section 173 agreement.
  • liquor license for a restaurant/cafe
  • tables and chairs and/or signage on the footpath

You have a dream project - where to start

New to building or renovation?

For advice on all things renovation and construction, visit the Victorian Building Authority (VBA).


Every dream project is different with its own needs and challenges. Here are the steps to give you a rough guide on the process, timeframes and costs when starting any project.

  1. Contact us to discuss your project with us to confirm if you need a planning permit

    Contact us

    You can also view:

    If you don't need a planning permit you can proceed straight to building permit

  2. If we confirm that you need a planning permit, start the application
  3. Get a building permit before you start construction

    We do not issue building permits so you will need to contact a building surveyor to organise a building permit.

    You will need the permit to ensure what you're hoping to construct or change is done right and to building code standards. 

  4. Apply for any other permits you need before you start works

    You may need permits for connecting to infrastructure, protection of public assets and more. Often you will find out which permits you need throughout the process, so it is always best to discuss your plans with us or industry professionals. 

    Some common permits include:

Hoping to build sustainably?

We've created a list of resources to help you build a sustainable, energy-efficient home or commercial building.

View resources