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To build a multi-unit development you need:

  • a Planning Permit
  • a Building Permit
  • an Occupancy Permit for each unit.

A multi-unit development is building more than one residence on a lot and includes: 

  • apartment buildings
  • townhouses
  • terrace houses
  • duplexes
  • villas.
Apartment building in Balwyn

If you're not sure whether your project is a multi-unit development, call Statutory Planning on (03) 9278 4888.

Build a multi-unit development

Step 1: Prepare your plans

Hire a qualified professional, such as an architect or draftsperson, to design the plans.

The plans need to meet the standards below in the Boroondara Planning Scheme.

They need to include:

Pre-application meeting

We recommend you book a meeting with us before you apply for a Planning Permit. We can help you with your application and let you know if there are any issues with it. 

Find out how to book a pre-application meeting.

Step 2: Apply for a Planning Permit

To find out how to apply and how we assess your application, visit our Apply for a Planning Permit page

If your works cost more than $1,207,000, you need to pay a Metropolitan Planning Levy to the State Revenue Office (SRO) before applying for a Planning Permit. The SRO will give you a certificate to include in your application. For more information visit the SRO website.

Step 3: Apply for a Building Permit

You can apply for a Building Permit while we assess your Planning Permit. 

To find out how to apply, visit our apply for a Building Permit page.

Expect it to take up to 10 business days for us to assess your Building Permit application. 

Step 4: Start construction

You can start construction once we've approved your permits.

Step 5: Apply for an Occupancy Permit

Download and complete the Occupancy Permit application form below. 

Submit your application to the relevant Building Surveyor. This is either Council's municipal building surveyor or a private building surveyor.  

Residents can't move in until you have an approved Occupancy Permit.


If you want to subdivide the land into individual titles, you need to hire a land surveyor. 

Find out more about subdivision on our Subdividing and consolidating land page

Development standards and guidelines

Planning standards

We assess your Planning Permit application against the clauses below in the Boroondara Planning Scheme. 

View the Boroondara Planning Scheme on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.

Clause Title
Clause 22.05 Neighbourhood Character Policy
Clause 55.00 Two or more dwellings on a lot and residential buildings
Clause 55.01 Neighbourhood and site description and design response
Clause 55.02 Neighbourhood character and infrastructure
Clause 55.03 Site layout and building massing
Clause 55.04 Amenity impacts
Clause 55.05 On-site amenity and facilities
Clause 55.06 Detailed design
Clause 55.07 Apartment developments
Clause 58.00 Apartment developments

Access standards

Buildings need to be accessible to all people. 

Your plans need to meet accessibility regulations in:

Design guidelines

The Urban Design Guidelines for Victoria provide advice about designing safe, accessible and useful spaces. Learn more about the Urban Design Guidelines on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.

The Better Apartments Design Standards set out how apartment design can provide functional places to live. Learn more about the Better Apartments Design Standards on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.

More information

For more information about Planning Permits call our Statutory Planning team on (03) 9278 4888.

For more information about Building Permits call our Building Services team (03) 9278 4999.

For general planning and building inquiries email [email protected].

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