Urban planning in Melbourne comes with many headaches, including getting a planning permit for your development. It can be a convoluted process if you’re not sure about what you’re doing.

However, don’t give up on your development dreams just yet. If you follow the regulations and hire the professionals from one of the reputable town planning companies in your area, you will be able to get your permit within a reasonable time frame.

  • Survey the Land

Your first step in preparing for your development is to understand everything about the site that you’ve chosen. This will include a complete survey done by a licensed, professional land surveyor.

The land surveyor you hire should be able to conduct several kinds of surveys according to your needs, ones that take into account physical features, man-made additions, and property boundaries. They should be able to make a re-establishment survey, which confirms previous boundaries and adds in any changes since then.

They should also be able to do a feature and level survey, which encompasses all the physical features in your lot, such as elevation changes and vegetation.

  • Hire an Architect

You should hire an architect almost as soon as you hire a land surveyor because they need to work together. The architect can help the land surveyors carry out their work by indicating what details the survey should include.

Hiring an architect this early in the process is also beneficial because you want to have the plans for your site ready as soon as possible to hand them into the municipality.

  • Find a Town Planning Company

Some architects can design projects and handle planning. However, if you hire a dedicated planner, you can make life easier for yourself and your architect. Town planning companies know all about local regulations for developments in your municipality, so you will have the best knowledge available.

Your planner will be a reliable part of the whole permit process. They will work with the architect to ensure the designs are compatible with local laws and help you later during dealings with the municipality.

Find a Town Planning Company

  • Your Planner Completes the Town Planning Report

Once your designs are finished, it is time for your planner to take over the process. Everyone investing in urban planning in Melbourne has to fill out a Town Planning Report, where they explain their development plans and how it complies with local codes.

  • Submit Your Town Planning Report

Completing a Town Planning Report usually takes several revisions. Once it is finally done, your planner will submit it to the council along with any supplemental materials, such as your architect’s initial drawings.

Throughout this process, your planner is your liaison with the municipality.

  • Make Revisions

Once the council members read your application, they will usually respond with an RFI or a request for further information. This will include a list of detailed questions about your project that you need to answer before they can approve your application.

You will need to work with your town planner and architect to complete those questions and add any supplementary information the council may have requested. Be sure to be as detailed and as quick as possible. You want to hear back from the council as quickly as possible, but you also want to include enough information so that they approve your plan.

  • Advertise Your Development

Once the council approves your responses to their RFI, your permit approval process still is not finished. You must have the approval of your future neighbours through a process known as advertising.

When the council advertises your development, they put up a sign in front of the planned site with your proposal as an attachment. This allows neighbours to read your plan and submit any concerns to the council before it is approved.

The length of the advertising period varies depending on your province and municipality, so check with your local council if you are not sure. In Victoria, it lasts for 14 days.

Once your project passes the advertising stage, you will finally get your planning permit.

There are quite a few steps to getting a planning permit if you are building a development. First, you want to finalise your designs by hiring professionals such as land surveyors and architects to help you. Then, you will need to engage a planner to ensure your plans comply with local regulations.

Once your plans are done, your planner will create a Town Planning Report and submit it as part of a complete application to the local council. Council approval takes several rounds, including an RFI where you respond to council queries and a period of advertising to the public.

All these steps are worth it to obtain the proper permits and create the project of your dreams while building a good relationship with the local council.


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