Apply for copy of building plans or documents

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Councils Building Services Unit is unable to provide a service of viewing plans in person.  Please note the following changes to this service:

  • Plans post 2018 are maintained in an electronic form.  Requests for plans after 2018 can be processed as normal and will be provided via email.
  • Plans pre-2018 are not all maintained in an electronic form.  You will not be able to attend Council to review any hard files.
  • A response for requesting plans pre-2018 will now take longer than previously completed, but may be able to be actioned more quickly where you can be specific about documentation you are requesting.  Most of these documents will still need to be scanned to be provided via email.
  • A response for requesting plans pre-2018 will be slower where you cannot be specific about documentation you are requesting or are requesting entire files.  Most of these documents will still need to be scanned to be provided via email.  You should not expect to receive these documents for a few weeks
  • A response for requesting for plans pre-2018 in cases whereby files are stored off-site, may not be possible to fulfil due to restrictions and shutdowns in place affecting Council and other providers services, including archives.  In cases where Council cannot physcially access files, you will need to wait until after the restrictions and shutdowns are relaxed to receive the documents.
  • If you believe documents need to be provided for a critical purpose, please contact Council on 9240 1111 to discuss your needs with the Building Services Unit to determine if a fast track process can be provided.

Council keeps old building plans, building permit applications and other building-related property information from the past. Most of this information is from 1994 onwards.

You can request copies of building plans or documents for your house or business within Merri-bek. This can be useful if you are doing renovations.

You must be the current owner or have the owner's written consent to view or obtain plans or documents.

Information required

When you lodge an application for copy of building permit plans or documents, we need to know:

  • property address
  • applicant's name: the person asking for the building plans or documents
  • type of building - residential house or dwelling, apartment or flat, or commercial - to calculate the fee, and
  • as much information about the plans you are looking for as you can provide, like details of a particular renovation, the area of the building if it is a large development, and the building permit number if you know it.

This information helps us locate the plans.

How to apply for copy of building permit plans or documents

Apply online

  1. Apply for a copy of building plans or documents through Council Online Services.
  2. As part of the online application process you upload digital files and pay the fee by Visa or MasterCard.

You can register as a user and sign in to Council Online Services before you apply. As a registered user, you don't need to re-enter your personal information and can keep track of requests and applications on any device.

Apply for building plans or documents

Apply by post or in person

Submit the form with your payment by post to Merri-bek City Council, Locked Bag 10, Merri-bek 3058 or in person at the Merri-bek Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street Coburg.

What happens after you apply

Once you apply for building permit plans for a property, we carry out a search of our records. Please allow 7 working days for a Council Officer to respond to your request.

While we do a thorough search, Council cannot guarantee the building plans you request are available. This can be because:

  • the building may be too old
  • the plans may have been done by a private building surveyor and not lodged with Council, or
  • no building permit was obtained for the work.

If the plans you apply for are found, you are invited to come in to Council offices to view the plans. At this point, you need to provide evidence that you are the owner of the property. If you applied online and are not the owner, you will need to bring a signed Application for Copy of Plans or Documents by Person Authorised by Owner form  (PDF 135Kb) with you.


There is a fee, which is for file searching. See fees for copy of plans applications.

Should we be unable to locate the plans, this fee is not refundable. We will advise you of the outcome of our search.

If you want copies of the plans there is an additional copying fee which depends on the size of the plans you require.