Planning permit process

Pencil, ruler and blueprint of a house

On average, the Borough of Queenscliffe issues around 150 planning permits per year, with the bulk of these related to single dwelling developments or alterations and extensions to single dwellings. Our Town Planning team is responsible for applying the planning policy and guidelines contained within the Queenscliffe Planning Scheme to all new developments in Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale that require a planning permit.

If you want to make changes to buildings on your property, it's likely that you'll need a planning permit. You can find out more about the planning permit process in the tabbed sections below.


Step 1.Find out what planning controls apply to your property

This is an important first step before you decide to make any changes to your home or property. This information can be obtained from a few different locations:

Step 2.Locate your current Certificate of Title

If you don't have one of these, they're easily purchaseable via Landata. This is a necessary attachment to your planning permit application.

Step 3.Complete the application form

The Application for a Planning Permit form must be completed before you can proceed. There are also a number of specific requirements for each type of permit application, so make sure that the information specified on the checklists is provided with your application – it'll help speed up the process. This form can then be submitted via post or in-person at Council offices.

Step 4.Pay the required fee

Payment can currently be made over the phone or in-person at Council offices.


Step 1.Initial assessment 

Our planning officers will check the application form to ensure it's been completed correctly and that all the required accompanying information has been included. If more information is needed, Council will contact you detailing what else is required.

The application may also be referred to other internal departments, such as engineering or heritage advisors, or external agencies such as Barwon Water and VicRoads.

Step 2.Public notification

When a planning permit application is lodged, Council officers will determine whether public notification is required. Where there is possible material detriment, a planning permit application is always advertised.

Depending on the size and possible impacts of the application, this could take the form of:

  • Direct mail notification to surrounding neighbours via registered mail
  • Signage erected at the front of the site, which is maintained for 14 days
  • A website listing
  • A sign on the noticeboard at the Council office.

If public notification is required, it must be carried out for a period of at least 14 consecutive days. During this time, any person can make a submission either supporting or objecting to the proposed permit. You can find out more on the objection process in the drop-down panel at the bottom of this page.

Step 3.Application assessment and report

Any objections will be considered as part of the assessment process and discussed with the objectors and the applicant. Council officers will then prepare a report and make a recommendation for the General Manager or Councillors to make the final decision. There are three potential outcomes:

1. Approval
If there are no objections, the permit can be issued straight away.

2. Notice of Decision to Grant a Permit
If Council decides to approve an application that has received objections, they must issue a Notice of Decision to Grant a Permit. All objectors will be sent this notice and will have 28 days to lodge an application for review at Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), if they wish.

If no objectors lodge a review with VCAT within the 28-day period, the permit will be granted. Similarly, if the applicant is unhappy with any of the proposed permit conditions, they can also apply to VCAT to have the conditions reviewed.

3. Refusal to Grant a Permit
Council can refuse a permit even if there were no objections to it. If a permit is refused, a Refusal to Grant a Permit notice will be issued that will detail the reasons for refusal. This will be sent to the applicant and all objectors to the application.

If the applicant wishes to challenge the refusal, an appeal must be lodged at VCAT within 60 days of the refusal being issued.


The amount of time it takes to assess an application depends on its size and complexity, whether or not it attracts any objections, and how the decision is made. Generally, it takes around 8–10 weeks for a decision to be made on a planning permit.

To make sure that your application is processed as quickly as possible:

  • Speak to a Council planner before lodging your application
  • Speak to your neighbours in advance about your proposal
  • Ensure all the necessary information is included in your application when it is initially lodged.

Did you know that planning permission may be required if you want to change the use of land or buildings? This could be a simple alteration, or additions that modify its use. For example, a planning permit may be required to change a shop to a restaurant or a dwelling to a medical centre.

There are certain types of changes of use that do not require planning permission, however, changes of use are not always a clear-cut issue and should be treated with care. Contact Council's Town Planning team to get confirmation.

While you can modify previously approved plans, Council may need to do a further assessment before your new changes can be approved. In turn, this may mean that re-notification of the proposal is required, so that your neighbours and the community can comment on the proposed changes. We recommend contacting Council's Town Planning team as soon as you realise a need for any changes to your approved plans.

It's important that you don't proceed with any unauthorised changes until they've been properly assessed and approved. Council will consider retrospective amendment applications as though the work has not yet been done, so it's best to get approval first.

The Victorian planning system is set up to ensure that you have the opportunity to comment on a planning permit that may affect you before a decision is made. Anyone can lodge an objection to a planning permit application, and Council must consider all objections when assessing the application.

Objections can be lodged with Council any time up to when a decision is made. However, objections are usually lodged during the 14-day period which the application is advertised. Once you've lodged an objection, Council is required to advise you of any decision made on the application. You'll also be advised of any relevant meetings held to consider the application.

To lodge an objection, you need to either:

  • Complete a Planning Permit Objection form, or
  • Write a letter or email, that includes your name and contact details (including address), the planning application number, address of the property in question, and a statement of how the proposal will affect you.

You can lodge your written objection by post or email or in person to:
Borough of Queenscliffe, 50 Learmonth Street (PO Box 93), Queenscliffe, VIC, 3225 or E