When do you need a permit for your property

Before embarking on building, renovating, tree removal/lopping or any other works, it is important to ascertain whether you require a permit.

Why do you need to get planning and building approval?

Planning permits and building permits serve different purposes.  

A planning permit is required to ensure that your project complies with the relevant zoning and overlay controls applicable to your property and to ensure that your project considers its impact on the surrounding area with respect to character, built form and materials, surrounding neighbours, traffic, environmental impacts and community need. 

A building permit focuses on the technical aspects of construction and safety ensuring that your project complies with the relevant building codes and regulations.

Links to the relevant controls are:

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.

The Building Regulations 2018 (the Regulations) came into effect on 2 June 2018. The Regulations are a subordinate legislation of the Building Act and contain, among other things, requirements relating to:

  • building permits
  • building inspections
  • occupancy permits
  • enforcement
  • maintenance of buildings.

The Regulations adopt the Building Code of Australia (BCA), which is part of the National Construction Code.

The Building Act 1993 (the Act) sets out the framework for the regulation of building construction, building standards and the maintenance of specific building safety features.

The objectives of the Act are to:

  • protect the safety and health of people who use buildings and places of public entertainment
  • improve the amenity of buildings.

What types of projects need a permit?

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

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

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