If you are developing a residential lot that is less than 500sqm in area, you need a Planning Permit to:

Challenges of developing smaller lots

When a lot is small in size, it's more difficult to make sure there is adequate sunlight, private open space and landscaping.

You must also be careful that the building does not impact on neighbours in terms of overlooking, overshadowing and visual bulk.

Your building should also comply with Council's Neighbourhood Character Precinct Statement Design Guidelines.

Applying for a Planning Permit

When you apply for a Planning Permit to build or extend a dwelling on a lot smaller than 500sqm, you need to submit the following:

  • Completed Application for a Planning Permit.
  • Certificate of Title. You can find this information using the Landata website. The Certificate of Title must be no more than 28 days' old.
  • A covering letter explaining your proposal.
  • Neighbourhood and site description.
  • Design response. This is a plan that demonstrates how the design meets the constraints of the building environment.
  • 3 copies of plans drawn to scale (1:100) and fully dimensioned, as well as a reduced A3-sized set. The plans must show the site, floor layout and elevations (Council also requires a digital copy of the application and plans).

The level of detail required for the neighbourhood and site description, as well as the design response, varies between individual applications. Generally, more detail is required for new dwelling applications or significant additions visible to the street. Minor or rear extensions require less detail.

Before you submit your application, you may wish to arrange a pre-application meeting with our Statutory Planning Department to ensure any preliminary issues or concerns are addressed.

Heritage Overlays

If your lot is under 500sqm and also in a Heritage Overlay, use our checklist to help determine the items you need to support your Planning Permit application


The application fee depends on the cost of the development.

Cost of development


Less than $10,000


$10,001 to $100,000


$100,001 to $500,000


$500,001 to $1,000,000


$1,000,001 and $2,000,000


Works on smaller lots that require a Planning Permit under certain circumstances

Clause 62 of the Boroondara Planning Scheme describes works that are exempt from needing planning permission for lots under 500sqm if:

  • the property meets specific conditions, and
  • there are no other factors that require you to get a Planning Permit.

Works for which exceptions may apply include:

For information about other building activities that may proceed on lots under 500sqm without a Planning Permit, email Statutory Planning.

Assessing proposals for works on smaller lots

Your proposal is assessed against Clause 54 of the Boroondara Planning Scheme known as Rescode.

Rescode covers matters such as:

  • Neighbourhood character to make sure a proposed development respects and responds to the physical context and streetscape in which it sits.
  • External amenity to makes sure a proposed development does not overshadow, overlook or provide unreasonable visual bulk to surrounding neighbours.
  • Internal amenity to make sure that a proposed development provides an appropriate site layout and design response to provide for the needs of future residents.

Council only allows the proposed development if it meets the Rescode objectives.

Council also refers to the Neighbourhood Character Study when assessing Planning Permit applications for smaller lots.

See assessing a Planning Permit application for a summary of Council's assessment process.

Further information

For help, email Statutory Planning or call 9278 4888.

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