Difference between planning and building

Planning permits and building permits are different. They are controlled by different laws and regulations.

This means that you may need a planning permit, building permit, or both depending on your proposed development or land use. 

If your project does require a planning permit, you must have the planning permit before a building permit can be issued.

Planning permits

A planning permit is a legal document giving permission for a land use or development. 

This development or use could be anything from demolishing or extending your house or removing a tree in your garden to running a business from home or getting a liquor license for a bar.

Planning is essentially about making decisions that effect the environment and everyday life. Planning decisions take into account the impact a new building or land use will have on the neighbourhood and neighbours. These decisions might be about the location of a new restaurant, the size of a new shopping centre or the parking allocation for a new apartment building.

Council is responsible for making most of the planning decisions that affect its municipality.

Council refers to the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and the Moreland Planning Scheme when it makes planning decisions.

See planning permits for more information on when you need a planning permit and the planning permit application process.

Building permits

Building permits are controlled by the Building Act 1993 and Building Regulations 2006. A building permit ensures the building is structurally safe, stable and complies with regulations.

All building work requires a building permit, unless there is an exemption for the proposed work under the Regulations. This includes some minor alterations, demolitions and repair or maintenance work. See when you need a building permit for exemptions.

A building permit will specify that either an occupancy permit is required or a certificate of final inspection is required when the building work is completed.

See buildings, renovations and extensions for information on building permits.

It is important to note that a planning permit is sometimes required before a building permit can be issued. See planning permits for more information on when you need a planning permit.

Contact Council

The best way to find out if you need a planning or a building permit and what is required for a permit application is to contact Council or visit the Merri-bek Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg to speak to a Council officer.

Watch our video - Building and planning permits: a rough guide

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