Apply for a planning permit

There are several steps that you will need to follow when applying for a planning permit, from pre-application to planning decision. Not all applications require every step.

We strongly encourage you to seek planning advice before you apply.

Tracking your application

You can track the progress of your application in our Online Planning and Building Portal (Greenlight).

    You can also contact the council at any time throughout the assessment process for clarification.

    Seek planning advice

    Visit Do you need a planning permit or a building permit? and Prepare your Planning Permit Application to understand how to seek planning advice from the council. 

    Engage with your neighbours

    Share your project with your neighbours and try to resolve any challenges where possible before you apply to the council.  

    All planning applications require the following information:

    1. Planning permit application

      A complete planning permit application including the property address, detailed and clear proposal, owner's details, cost of the development and signed declarations. 

    2. Certificate of Title

      A current copy of the Certificate of Title (less than three months old) including the registered search statement, plan of subdivision and any restrictions that apply to the land e.g. covenants or Section 173 agreements. You can purchase a copy of your current Certificate of Title from Landata.

    3. Plans

    One copy of the site, elevations and floor plans. Plans must be to scale (1:100 or 1:200)

    4. Site plans

    A site plan is a bird's-eye view which shows your existing and proposed development, and the set-back to boundaries and neighbouring properties/developments.

    It must show all structures on the site and any other features, such as vegetation, carparks, driveways, and crossovers. The plans should distinguish clearly between the existing structures and features and those that are being proposed.

    A short, written summary should be provided detailing the site coverage, floor area, number of parking spaces, the area proposed for landscaping and any other relevant details.

    Example of existing and proposed site plan(PDF, 134KB)

    5. Floor plans

    A floor plan is a bird's-eye view of the existing and proposed structures in your development. It should show the layout of the building, the location and dimension of walls, windows and doors, and the use of each room and area within the building.

    Example of a floorplan(PDF, 125KB)

    6. Elevation plans
    Elevation plans are side-on views of your proposed development. Elevations of all four sides (north, south, east, west) should accompany your application.
    The plans should show:

    • Details of construction materials and colours (eg. Basalt Colourbond)
    • The height and length of walls, including to the apex of the building from natural ground level
    • The slab or footing details
    • The dimensions of windows and their height above natural ground level

    Example of elevation plans(PDF, 274KB)


    7. Any other specified required information

    You may have been notified by the council when receiving your preliminary advice of other required documents specific to your proposal.

    8. Payment of fees

    After you have lodged your application, the council’s Planning Officer will assess the application to calculate the fee. Once the fee amount is determined, you will then be contacted by the Planning Support Team to be advised of the fee. The application is considered lodged once payment is received.
    Planning services fees and charges

    Upon receipt of your application, the council will confirm if your application qualifies for the fast track VicSmart application stream. If so, the council will direct your application through the VicSmart process.

    Find out more about VicSmart.

    Apply for a planning permit via our Online Planning and Building Portal (Greenlight), select 'planning department' and then click 'Apply for a planning permit'.

    New to our portal? Visit our Online Planning and Building Portal (Greenlight) information page.

    If you require assistance with submitting your application online, please contact the council.

    The council’s Planning Officer will assess your application and determine if it needs to be referred to external authorities and/or internal departments.

    An example of a referral authority is the CFA if you are building in the Bushfire Management Overlay, or the local Catchment Management Authority (CMA) if you are building in a Floodway Overlay or Land Subject to Inundation Overlay.

    Requests for further information (RFI)


    What do I do if I get a request for further information (RFI)?

    The Planning Officer may request further information from you based on the detail provided in your application. The RFI will detail what document/s and/or information is missing from your application. If you are unsure about anything, contact the Planning Officer before submitting. It is important that you:

    • Follow the process for responding as outlined in your letter
    • Supply the information in the format requested
    • Consider engaging the support of a planning consultant to assist if the RFI is complex to avoid further delays.

    The Planning Officer will assess the response to the request for further information. For applications that need re-referrals, the process may take up to four weeks to coordinate responses from internal and external departments.

    How much time do I have to respond?

    If you receive a request for further information, your response must be received by the indicated due date. This will generally be between 30 – 60 days from the date the RFI was issued.

    What are the implications of not responding by the due date?

    If you do not provide all the requested information by the due date, the application will lapse and will not progress further.

    You would then need to lodge a new planning permit application, including all relevant fees and information.

    Extending the due date

    If you are unable to respond to the RFI by the due date, you must seek an extension of time by submitting a request before the due date in the Northern Grampians Shire Council online building and planning portal (Greenlight).

    If your planning permit application involves use or development of land that affects other properties, your application may be advertised. The application may be notified by a:

    • Mail-out to surrounding owners and occupier
    • Notices on site
    • Newspaper notes
    • A combination of the above.

    A copy of your application documents will be made available on the council's website and hardcopies can be made available to view by appointment at the council offices in Stawell or St Arnaud. Other people in the community may lodge an objection to your planning application. In some instances, the council Planning Officer may encourage early public engagement at the pre-application stage to reduce the likelihood of objections.

    If objections to your planning application are received, you can provide a response to the objections or concerns raised, or you can make changes to your proposal.

    How do I object to a planning permit application?

    For information and guidance, please visit objecting to a planning application.


    Once all applicable steps have been followed, your application is formally assessed and a decision is made.

    There are three types of decisions that can be made on a planning permit application:

    • Issue a permit
    • Issue a notice of decision to grant a permit
    • Refusal to grant a permit

    You can appeal to VCAT

    You can appeal an application decision at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

    Visit VCAT Appeals.

    Acting on your permit

    Once a planning permit is issued, it is your responsibility to make sure that the land use or development is consistent with the permit conditions, and that the permit is acted upon within the permitted timeframe.

    Applying for a building permit

    Now that you have a planning permit, you may need to apply for a building permit.

    Please visit building services for more information about this process.

    Amending a current permit

    If you would like to make changes to your current planning permit (such as changes to any of the permit conditions or substantial changes to your endorsed plans, you can apply to the council to request an Amendment to the Permit under Section 72 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987. An application to amend a planning permit is similar to the original application process and allows your application to be re-assessed, and if required, re-referred and re-advertised.

    You will need the following to lodge your amendment:

    • Full set of plans (at a scale of 1:100 or 1:200) with the proposed amendments clearly highlighted
    • An electronic version of all plans, in PDF form
    • A full copy of Certificate of Title including any restrictions and plan of subdivision (less than three months old) for the subject site
    • Updated reports, if applicable
    • Relevant Fee

    Note: All changes to the original permit and endorsed plans should be clearly indicated.

    Plans are not required if amending the permit description or permit conditions only. You must identify the permit conditions that you are requesting to amend and provide a written explanation of the proposed changes, with detail of the proposed wording of the amended permit conditions. 

    Secondary Consent Amendments 

    A Secondary Consent Amendment is often the most suitable way of assessing minor modifications required to endorse plans.

    Under normal circumstances, planning permits contain the condition:

    The development as shown on the endorsed plan must not be altered or modified without the prior written consent of the Responsible Authority.

    If your planning permit contains a condition similar to the above, then you may be able to apply for an amendment under secondary consent, provided the proposed changes are minor in nature.

    There is also no provision for notification or advertising of your amendment under secondary consent provisions. If it is considered that the proposed amendment to your plans would result in any amenity impacts, you will be required to apply for an amendment under Section 72 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (the Act).

    In order to qualify for a Secondary Consent Amendment Application, the proposed minor changes must comply with the following requirements:

    • You cannot alter or delete any condition or pre-amble of a planning permit under secondary consent provisions
    • The proposal must not result in a transformation of the proposal
    • The proposal must not authorise something for which primary consent is required under the planning scheme
    • The proposed changes must be of no consequence having regard to the purpose of the planning control under which the permit was granted
    • The proposed changes must not be contrary to a specific requirement (or condition of the permit) as distinct from an authorisation within the permit, which itself cannot be altered by consent.

    If your proposed modification does not meet any of the above requirements, you will be required to apply for an Application to Amend a Planning Permit pursuant to Section 72 of the Act.

    How do I apply for a Secondary Consent Amendment?

    You can make an application for an amendment under secondary consent provisions via our online building and planning portal (Greenlight).

    The following information will be required:

    • Full set of plans (at a scale of 1:100 or 1:200) with the proposed amendments clearly highlighted
    • An electronic version of all plans, in PDF form
    • A full copy of Certificate of Title including any restrictions and plan of subdivision (less than three months old) for the subject site
    • Relevant Fee

    Note: All changes to the original permit and endorsed plans should be clearly indicated.

    Please contact the council’s Planning Team to discuss your request in further detail. 

    Extending a current permit

    Planning permits are issued with an expiry date on the bottom of the document. Under Section 69 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, you can apply to the council for an extension of time for either commencement or completion. The application for an extension of time on a planning permit must be made in writing:
    • Before the permit expires, or
    • Within six months after the permit expires for a request to extend the time to commence the development, or
    • Within twelve months after the permit expires for a request to extend the time to complete the development.

    Approval of permit extension requests are not automatic. The application will be assessed to determine whether it is appropriate to extend the time, taking into consideration any changes to state or local planning policies which have occurred since the original permit was issued.

    It is your responsibility to ensure that the permit is acted upon within the permitted timeframe and to ensure that the permit does not lapse.