The Planning Permit Process

The process for obtaining a Planning Permit is broken into distinct phases, including but not limited to:

  • Pre-application enquiry - when making an enquiry it is useful to provide details of the proposal and land to enable Council's planning staff to adequately research and prepare advice about your proposal
  • Submission of Planning Permit application, including payment of all appropriate fees
  • Allocation to a Planning Officer
  • Preliminary assessment by the Planning Officer in accordance with the planning scheme as well as policies and guidelines
  • If required, the Planning Officer will contact you in writing to obtain further information
  • Application referred to relevant advisers and external authorities
  • Your application may then be advertised in accordance with the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (see below)
  • Final assessment by the Planning Officer
  • Decision is made to approve or refuse the application by Council

Following this process there is an option of an application for review (appeal) to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

The links below provide information about the planning permit process for specific types of development.

Note: Building and other Permits may also be required for the use or development of your land.

How to apply for a Planning Permit
Application fees
Advice & help
How long will it take to issue my permit?
Can a planning decision be appealed?
Can my Planning Permit be extended?
Can I amend my Planning Permit?

How to apply for a Planning Permit

Required Documentation

The information you will need to include in your application will vary depending on what you are seeking a permit for, however generally you must include:

  • A completed Application for a Planning Permit Form
  • A current copy of the Certificate of Title* (obtained within the last three months). If the land is burdened by a Restrictive Covenant or Section 173 Agreement, a copy must also be provided.
  • Payment of the application fee
  • A description of what the permit is for
  • Estimated cost of works
  • Copies of plans and any other additional information
  • Zones, Overlays, Local Policies and Particular Provisions also set out information requirements for permit applications.

It is important that the above requirements are addressed in an application to avoid requests for further information that will delay processing of an application.

If an application is incomplete, a limited time is given to provide the required information. If the information cannot be provided within the time-frame, the application may lapse. After an application has lapsed, it cannot be revived and it is necessary to lodge a new application together with all supporting information for your proposal to be considered.

* Certificate of Title can be obtained online at Landata.

Lodging an Application

You can lodge your application by:

Post: Manager Planning & Statutory Services

Indigo Shire Council

PO Box 28 Beechworth VIC 3747


In Person: At an Indigo Shire Customer Service Centre:

  • 34 High Street, Yackandandah
  • 101 Ford Street, Beechworth
  • 149 High Street (Rural Transaction Centre), Rutherglen

As no two applications are the same it is strongly recommended that you seek independent planning advice from qualified professionals before you submit your application.



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Application fees

Planning fees are Statutory fees set by the State Government in the Planning and Environment (Fees) Further Interim Regulations 2013.

Indigo Shire charges fees for the following:

  • Planning Scheme Amendments
  • Planning Permit Applications
  • Certificates of Compliance with the Planning Scheme
  • Amendments to Permits
  • Extending Planning Permits.



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Advice & help

Information on this website will help you to determine if you need a Planning Permit. It is also possible to apply for a Certificate of Compliance stating that a proposed use or development would comply with the requirements of the Indigo Planning Scheme.

Where further information is required, you can use this form to seek advice from a planning officer. While it is not a planning officer's role to develop the application or pre-empt a decision, they can provide further advice and guidance on the process.

When making an enquiry it is important to provide full details of your proposal and the land to enable Council's planning staff to adequately research and provide an informed response. The more detail provided allows Council's staff to provide you with better advice.

These services are free of charge.

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Application notification/advertising

Under the Planning and Environment Act 1987, advertising is required where a proposal may have an impact on anyone. Advertising can take the form of any or all of the following three methods

  • Mail
  • On-site notice
  • Newspaper publication.

This requirement allows people to consider the proposal and its impact on them. The advertising period is a minimum of 14 days, however longer periods may be allowed depending on the nature of the application. Council cannot make a decision until this period is complete.

Indigo Shire may also refer an application to other authorities such as CFA, Department of Sustainability and Environment, North East Water, VicRoads, North East Catchment Management Authority, Goulburn Murray Water, and SP AusNet. These authorities generally have 28 days to respond and may object or impose conditions on an application.

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Objecting to a planning application

Advertising of Planning Applications

Some classes of application are exempt from notice and appeal rights. Where an application is not exempt from the notice provisions, Council decides whether notice (advertising) will be given to the owners and occupiers of adjoining properties or any other person, and how the notice will be given.


Any written comments received during the advertising period are called submissions. Submissions opposing a proposal are objections. Council must consider all written submissions when making a decision about an application.

While submissions are usually lodged during the 14-day advertising period, submissions may be lodged with Council up to the time it makes a decision. However, it is recommended that comments are lodged within the advertising period.

An objection must be in writing and clearly state how the application will affect the objector. Furthermore, it should be based on legitimate town planning issues.

If you make a written submission, you will be notified by mail of Council's decision.

Submissions are not confidential and name and address details are available to the public and the applicant.

To lodge an objection you need to write a letter, which 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: Manager Planning & Statutory Services, Indigo Shire Council, PO Box 28, Beechworth 3747

Email: to Please clearly state 'objection to (insert planning application number)' in the subject line.

In person: at Customer Service Centres at 34 High Street, Yackandandah, 101 Ford Street, Beechworth, or 149 High Street (Rural Transaction Centre), Rutherglen, during normal office hours.

Appeal Rights

Council is not always the final arbiter of an application. A permit applicant or an objector may lodge an appeal against Councils decision with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Rights of appeal are summarised on the decision notification Council mails to all parties. Further information can be obtained from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

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Deciding an application

Council officers assess each planning application in accordance with the Planning Scheme as well as local policies, Council strategies and guidelines. Significant weight will also be given to the following:

  • whether the proposal is consistent with the purpose of the zone in which the land is situated
  • whether the proposed use or development maintains or enhances the character of the neighbourhood (for example, that the design and scale of buildings is consistent with others in the area)
  • whether the amenity of adjoining properties is maintained - for example, by minimising overshadowing, overlooking, noise, traffic and parking impacts
  • whether a proposed new development achieves a high standard of urban design.

It is important for applicants and their representatives to understand the special characteristics of Indigo Shire's individual neighbourhoods and to ensure that developments respond to and reinforce these characteristics.

Indigo Shire embraces a consultative approach to the planning process. This may involve applicants, objectors and Councillors in meetings where everyone involved can discuss the proposal, identify concerns and have the opportunity to improve outcomes for all participants.

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How long will it take to issue my permit?

Council processes Planning Permit applications as quickly as possible and is mindful of the time and financial pressures that applicants are often under.

Each application is unique so it is difficult to give specific timelines for how long it will take to make a decision on your application. Some applications need to be advertised to your neighbours and if objections are received, and not resolved through consultation, the application will go before Council for decision. This process will typically take more time than what might be required if objections are not received.

Essentially, there is no limit on the time Council has to make a decision on an application and there is a strict process for assessing Planning Permit applications that is set by the State Government. The more steps that the application needs to pass through, the longer the assessment will take.
To ensure that your application can be processed quickly and efficiently, it is essential that all the relevant information is included.

Most delays are caused by insufficient or inadequate information being provided with an application. To ensure all matters are adequately addressed it is advisable for applicants to seek independent advice from qualified people before lodging an application.

Factors that influence the timelines of the permit process are partly determined by the Planning and Environment Act 1987 but will also be influenced by:

  • the clarity and adequacy of information and detail provided with the application
  • the completeness of information submitted by the applicant and whether the council needs to seek further information in order to assess the application
  • the response time of a referral authority when an application is referred to them for comment (ie. VicRoads for a new access onto a main road, North East Catchment Management Authority in the case of flood prone land)
  • the number of objections and the merits of holding a consultation meeting to resolve objectors' concerns
  • whether the council's Planners can make the decision under delegation or need to report the matter to Council
  • whether an appeal occurs after the Council makes its decision
  • the workload of the Council and VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal).

For further information see: How long will it take to issue my permit?

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Can a planning decision be appealed?

If your application is refused or there are objections, an application for review of the decision may be made to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Applicants must lodge their applications to VCAT within 60 days of decision and objectors within 21 days, using the VCAT Application for Review Form available on the VCAT Website.

The application for review must be submitted to on the official form and accompanied by the prescribed fee.

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Can my Planning Permit be extended?

Information on the back of a permit or a condition on your Planning Permit will set out the time period in which the use or development needs to be commenced and/or completed. The permit will expire if this time limit is exceeded.

An extension of time to commence can be applied for before the permit expires or within 6 months afterwards.

An extension of time to complete a development can be applied for before the permit expires or within 12 months after the permit expires.

An extension of time will normally only be considered once. If a permit has already been extended, it may be necessary to apply for a fresh permit.

Further information on extending permits and the matters that must be taken into account can be found in the information sheet "How long will it take to issue my permit?"

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Can I amend my Planning Permit?

Planning permits consist of the permit and the approved plan(s). Under some circumstances, changes to the permit or the plan(s) or both can be considered by Council.

An application to amend a Planning Permit (and/or the endorsed plans) is processed in the same way as a planning permit application. A decision will be made whether the proposed amendment is likely to impact on any other property. If this is likely, Council may require public notification of the application.

The decision-making process and appeal rights are the same as for a standard planning permit application.

Further information on amending permits and the matters that must be taken into account can be found in the information sheet How long will it take to issue my permit?

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Last updated: 29 March 2018