Build a new dwelling

This guide describes which permits and approvals you need to construct a house that is the only dwelling on a lot (a single dwelling).

You may need a Planning Permit to build a single dwelling. You will need a Building Permit before you begin construction and an Occupancy Permit to occupy the building.

Depending on your circumstances, you may also need a:

  • Tree Works Permit
  • Road or Footpath Occupancy Permit
  • Vehicular Crossing Permit
  • Asset Protection Permit

How to use this guide

To help you work out which permits you need, begin at Step 1 and answer the questions one at a time . You may be asked to look at the zone in which you plan to build, overlays that impact your project and the area of your lot.

If you need help with a Planning Permit, contact our Statutory Planning team on 9278 4888 or email Statutory Planning

If you need help with a Building Permit, contact our Building Services team on 9278 4999 or email Building Services.

Before you begin

Before finalising your design:

If you plan to knock down an existing dwelling in order to build a new house, you may need a Planning or Building Permit for the demolition works. See Demolish all or part of a building.

Check for restrictive covenants

restrictive covenant is a private agreement between land owners that restricts the way land may be used and developed. For example, a restrictive covenant may stipulate the material out of which you may construct your dwelling.

To see whether there are restrictive covenants on your land, refer to your Certificate of Title. You can order this from Landata.

Note: Although there are methods to remove restrictive covenants, these are generally complex, time-consuming and require legal assistance.

Do any restrictive covenants affect your property?

  1. If yes, ensure that your plans meet the covenant requirements. Then go to the next step.
  2. If no, go to the next step.

 

 

 

 

Check if your zone prohibits your project

1. Visit Planning Maps Online and search for the address of your property. The Planning Maps Online page displays a map of the property.

2. Select Get Report. Follow the prompts to create and open a Planning Property Report.

3. Read the report to see whether your property is in any of the following:

  • Commercial 2 Zone
  • Urban Floodway Zone
  • Special Use Zone Schedule 1
  • Special Use Zone Schedule 2

You are not allowed to build a house in a Commercial 2 or Urban Floodway Zone.

You cannot build a house in a Special Use Zone Schedule 1, unless the house is associated with an education centre.

You cannot build a house in a Special Use Zone Schedule 1, unless it’s a caretaker’s house.

Is your property in a zone that prohibits your project?

 

 

Check if your property is in a residential zone

Refer to the map from Planning Maps Online. Check if your property is in any of the following:

  • General Residential Zone Schedule 1
  • Residential Growth Zone Schedule 1
  • Neighbourhood Residential Zone Schedule 3

Is your property in a residential zone?

 

 

 

Check the land size in specific residential zones

Refer to the Certificate of Title (available from the Landata website) and calculate the area using the title boundary dimensions.

Use the following table to see whether you need a permit due to your land area in a particular zone:

Zone

Apply for a permit if your land area is..

General Residential Zone Schedule 1

Less than 500sqm

Residential Growth Zone Schedule 1

Less than 300sqm

Neighbourhood Residential Zone Schedule 3

Less than 500sqm

Do you need planning permission to build a dwelling due to the land size within your zone?

 

 

 

Check for other zones that require planning permission

Refer to the map from Planning Maps Online. See whether your property is in any of the following:

  • Commercial 1 Zone Schedule 1
  • Priority Development Zone
  • Special Use Zone Schedule 2

You need to apply for planning permission to build a house in a Commercial 1 Zone Schedule 1 or Priority Development Zone.

You may apply for permission to build a house For Special Use Zone Schedule 2, as long as the house is associated with an education centre.

Is your property in a zone that requires planning permission for your project?

 

 

Check the overlay in which you will be building the dwelling

Refer to the report from Planning Maps Online.

In the Planning Overlay section, look at the map to see which overlays affect your works. 

Check if you are building a single dwelling in any of the following:

  • Heritage Overlay
  • Special Building Overlay
  • Land Subject to Inundation Overlay
  • Public Acquisition Overlay
  • Environmental Significance Overlay Schedule 2
  • Development Plan Overlay Schedule 1,2,3
  • Design and Development Overlay Schedule 1,6, 7, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 23 or 31

Are you building a single dwelling in any of the overlays listed in this step?

 

 

 

 

Check the height of a dwelling in a Significant Landscape Overlay

Refer to the report from Planning Maps Online to see whether your property is in a Significant Landscape Overlay.

If so, measure the height of your structure from natural ground level to the structure's highest point. See whether the height is 6m or more.

Are you building a dwelling with a height of 6m or more in a Significant Landscape Overlay?

 

 

Apply for a Planning Permit, if needed

If you have determined that you need a Planning Permit for your project:

  1. Provide a clear copy of your Certificate of Title, including the lot plan. You can get this from the Landata website. The Certificate of Title must be no more than 28 days' old.
  2. Write a cover letter explaining your proposal.
  3. Prepare a plan drawn to scale (1:100 or 1:200) with full dimensions. The plan must show the site, floor layout and elevations.
  4. Check whether your application is eligible to be fast-tracked under VicSmart.
  5. Complete the Planning Permit application form and lodge the form, fee and supporting documents with Council. 
    To download the form and submit the application, see Apply for a Planning Permit.
    • If you need a permit to demolish a building, the Planning Permit application you submit can be for both the demolition of the existing building and the construction of the new building.
    • If the cost of your works is greater than $1,029,000, the State Revenue Office (SRO) requires that you pay a Metropolitan Planning Levy. After you have paid the levy, the SRO will issue a certificate. You need to include this certificate in your Planning Permit application.
  6. Lodge the form, application fee and supporting documents with Council.
  7. Go to the next step.

Application fees

For non-VicSmart applications:

Cost of development

Fee

$10,000 or less

$195.10

$10,001 to $100,000

$614.10

$100,001 to $500,000

$1257.20

$500,001 to $1,000,000

$1358.30

$1,000,0001 to $2,000,000

$1459.50

For VicSmart applications:

Cost of development

Fee

$10,000 or less

$195.10

More than $10,000

$419.10

 

Request property information, if needed

Property owners who apply for a Building Permit through Council are provided with a property information service as part of their application processing.

However, if you are using a Private Building Surveyor, or need to serve Protection Works Notices, you may require specific property reports.

Report

When would I need this?

How do I order this?

Fee?

Property Information for a Private Building Surveyor

Order this when your Private Building Surveyor has requested information about the property, such as whether it is designated as flood prone or is in a termite area.

Complete the Application for Property Information - Building Surveyors and submit it to Council offices.

Incurs a fee.

Building Ownership Details

Order this if you need to serve Protection Works Notices on adjoining property owners, under the Privacy Act.

The report may be requested by a Private Building Surveyor.

The report provides the contact details of the owners of the neighbouring properties.

Complete the Application for Ownership Details for Protection Works and submit it to Council offices.

Provide details of the building surveyor appointed for the works, including their registration number.

No fee.

Do you need specific property reports?

 

 

 

Apply for a Building Permit

  1. Read the Building Permit application checklist to determine which supporting documents you need for your circumstances. If you are unsure what you need, contact the Building Services team on 9278 4999 or email Building Services.
  2. If relevant, apply for Report and Consent.

    You need to apply for Report and Consent if the design does not comply with the siting requirements of the Building Regulations, for example non-compliant front setback or overlooking.

    You may also need Report and Consent for non-siting provisions of the Building Regulations such as building on flood prone land.

    Contact the Building Services Team if you are unsure whether you need Report and Consent for your project.
  3. Complete the Application for a Building Permit.
  4. Lodge the Building Permit application form, fee and supporting documents with Council. For fee information, email Building Services.

You may lodge the application for a Building Permit while other permit applications are still being processed, but may only begin construction when all required permits and approvals are granted.

See whether there are any other permits you need for your project.

 

 

 

Check if there are any other permits you need

Consider whether there are any other permits or approvals you need before beginning construction.

If you need to:

If your works could:

Now, go to the next step.

 

 

 

 

Construct the dwelling

After all required permits and approvals have been granted, you may begin construction.

Read your Building Permit and conditions carefully. The Building work will need to be inspected and approved by the Relevant Building Surveyor.

Refer to the required mandatory inspection stages listed on the Building Permit. For general information about mandatory inspections during construction, see Apply for a Building Permit, stages 8 to 12.

Mandatory inspections continue until the work is completed and complies to building legislation.

Go to the next step.

 

 

 

Occupy the dwelling

Before the final inspection is carried out, you need to apply to the Relevant Building Surveyor for an Occupancy Permit.

Apply for an Occupancy Permit.

You may only occupy the dwelling after:

  • the final inspection has been approved and
  • the Occupancy Permit has been issued.

You may exit the guide.

Statutory Planning aims to respond to Planning Permit applications within 60 days, as governed by the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

If a Building Permit application is made to Council's Building Surveying Services then it will be assessed within 10 business days. The response is usually a request for further information that is required before a Building Permit can be issued. If you are using a Private Building Surveyor, they will have their own timelines.