Planning services

What is the difference between a planning permit and a building approval?

Planning permits and building approvals are two separate and distinct approvals. Generally, planning permits relate to the use and development of land, whereas building approvals relate to the structural matters and compliance with the building regulations. Depending on the buildings and/or works, some proposals require both planning and building approval, others require only one.

Planning permits can only be issued by council, VCAT or the Minister for Planning, while building permits can be obtained from any registered building surveyor, either through local government or private building surveyors.

If I have a planning permit, do I need a building permit?

Planning and building permits are different in what they approve and in their purpose. These permits are two separate and distinct approvals and where planning permits are sometimes required, building permits are generally always required to construct, alter, extend or demolish a building. Alterations are defined as any structural changes to the building or changes to the original footprint. Please contact council's Building Department for more information regarding permit requirements for alterations.

It should be noted that the planning permit must be issued before the building permit can be issued. You can apply for the building permit at the same time as applying for the planning permit or at any time prior to the planning permit being issued. This may reduce the time waiting as the permits can be assessed concurrently.


Planning and building permits enquiries and requests for inspections can be booked by telephoning council on 03 5358 8700. If you wish to speak to a planning officer in person, please make an appointment.

Alternatively, you can email us at:

Community map

Your property can now be accessed via our community map, click on the link below and search for your property to get access to planning information applicable to your property Click here Community Map