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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs and answers to planning related matters:

What is a planning scheme?

A planning scheme sets out policies and requirements for the use, development and protection of land.  There is a planning scheme for every municipality in Victoria. For more detailed information on the Kingston Planning Scheme, and how it operates, please refer to the Planning Scheme User Guide.

In addition to this, you are also able to read the full  Kingston Planning Scheme or view a hard copy of this at the City Development office at 1230 Nepean Highway, Cheltenham. 

Do I need a Planning Permit?

If you are considering any kind of building, constructing a fence, erecting a pergola or changing the use of a building, you may require a planning permit. The easiest way to find out if your building project or use of a site requires a planning permit is to contact us. 

Our City Development Team is available from 8:30am to 5pm - Monday to Friday and is located at 1230 Nepean Highway, Cheltenham. 

Alternatively, you can call us on 9581 4131 and one of our  City Development Officers will be able to assist.

What is my land zoned?

Zoning controls the use of land.  Zoning information can be obtained from the Department of Transport Planning and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI) . 

You will be required to agree to the terms and conditions of the website, and then will be able to search any site address and obtain relevant property reports. 

Alternatively, you can contact Council's City Development Team on 9581 4131 between 8:30am to 5pm Monday to Friday or visit us at 1230 Nepean Highway, Cheltenham and one of our friendly planning officer's will be able to advise you of the relevant zoning relating to a parcel of land.

Does my land have any overlays on it?

Overlays apply in addition to the zoning and any other provisions of the scheme. Overlays can relate to building heights, setbacks, vegetation and heritage controls.  Overlay information can be obtained from the Department of Transport Planning and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI), you will be required to agree to the terms and conditions of the website, and then will be able to search any site address and obtain relevant property reports.  Alternatively, you can contact Council's City Development Team on 9581 4131 between 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday or visit us at 1230 Nepean Highway, Cheltenham and one of our friendly planning officer's will be able to advise you of the  relevant overlays relating to a parcel of land (if any).

My land is in a Special Building Overlay or Land Subject to Inundation Overlay. What does this mean?

If your land is located in a Special Building Overlay (SBO) or Land Subject to Inundation Overlay (LSIO) you are affected by a flood overlay.  As a result of this, it is likely that you will require a Planning Permit for any buildings and works. For more information on these flood overlays, please refer to our Land Subject To Flooding  page.

How big is my block of land?

Council is unable to provide you with an accurate size of the relevant site.  To find out the size of your land, you should obtain a copy of the Certificate of Title for the site, including the Plan of Subdivision for the site which should include full details including the dimensions of the site in which your overall lot size can be calculated.

To obtain a full copy of title online, please visit www.landata.vic.gov.au, alternatively, you can contact land Victoria by phone on (03) 8636 2010.

Council also provides a service in which for a relevant fee, a copy of your Title can be obtained on your behalf.  For more information on this service, please click here.

What is in the easement located on my property?

To obtain details of any easements located on your land, check the Certificate of Title, and associated Plan of Subdivision. Common easements include drainage and sewerage easements, however, this is not always the case.  If you require any further assistance in relation to easement information, please contact Council's development engineering department on 9581 4131 between the hours of 8:30am and 5pm or visit us at 1230 Nepean Highway, Cheltenham.

Do I need a Planning Permit for an extension on my house?

You may need a Planning Permit for an extension to house or unit.  There are many factors that may trigger the need for a Planning Permit including lot size, planning controls and site location.  To determine if a Planning Permit is required, please contact Council's City Development department between 8:30am and 5pm on 9581 4131 or alternatively, you can visit the City Development Department at 1230 Nepean Highway, Cheltenham. Alternatively, please read alterations and additions to a dwelling (including fencing) 

Can I have the name of a good draughtsperson / architect?

Unfortunately, Council's City Development department is unable to provide / recommend details of any draughtsperson / architect.  It is suggested that you visit business advertising websites (yellow pages etc.)

Do I need a pre-application meeting with a Council planner?

The city development department has a planning officer available Monday to Friday, between the hours of 8:30am and 5pm.  If you have a complex application that requires more detailed advice, it is suggested that you submit preliminary plans together with a pre-application covering letter to the City Development Department, and a planning officer will provide a written response.  For more information, please view pre-application advice.

There is a restrictive covenant on my title. How do I remove it?

A Planning Permit is required for the removal of a restrictive covenant.  All beneficiaries of the covenant must be notified.  Should one or more beneficiaries object to the covenant removal, Council must refuse the application as specified under Section 60(5)  of the Planning and Environment Act 1987. 

Can I obtain a copy of endorsed plans and / or planning permit for a particular address?

You can obtain a copy of a Planning Permit and associated endorsed plans for a set fee.  You are required to complete the Application for copies of plans / files and submit to Council with the appropriate fee for processing.  Copies of plans or Planning Permit can take up to ten working days to retrieve, as they are not stored on site.

I have lodged an objection to a planning application - What is the process from here?

You will receive a formal acknowledgement letter from Council advising that your objection has been received.  For more information on the objection process, please refer to the Objection to a Planning Application web page.

I think a development is being constructed illegally, does not meet Planning Permit conditions or does not match the plans that I viewed.  What can I do?

Please contact the City Development department Monday to Friday, between the hours of 8:30am to 5pm or visit us at 1230 Nepean Highway, Cheltenham.  The matter may be referred to Council's Planning Compliance department who may need to investigate the matter further.

Do I need a Planning Permit for a Dependent Person's Unit (Granny Flat)?

There are requirements set by the Kingston Planning Scheme which defines a dependent person's unit.  To meet the definition of a dependent person's unit you must be proposing a movable building on the same lot as an existing dwelling, and used to provide accommodation for a person dependent on a resident of the existing dwelling.  Provided your proposal meets this definition, and it is the only dependent person's unit on the lot, a Planning Permit is likely to be not required.  If you require further information in relation to Dependent Person's Units, please contact the City Development Department on 9581 4131 between 8:30 am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, or visit us at 1230 Nepean Highway, Cheltenham.

Do I need a Planning Permit for Advertising Signage?

Advertising signage may require a Planning Permit depending on the zoning of the site, and the location, type and size of signage proposed. For more information on Planning Permit requirements for advertising signage, please refer to advertising signs.

What is a Section 173 Agreement?

A section 173 Agreement is an agreement made under section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.  The agreement is made with an owner of land and Council (The Responsible Authority).  The agreement usually sets out conditions or restrictions in relation to the development or use of the land.  A section 173 Agreement is a legal contract and is registered on the Certificate of Title, ensuring it can be enforced similarly to that of a Planning Permit condition or Planning Scheme requirement.  For more information in relation to Section 173 Agreements, please refer to Section 173 Agreements.

How much does it cost to apply for a Planning Permit?

Fees for Planning Permits are set out in the current Planning Regulations 2005.  Fees will vary depending on:-

  • The proposed development of the site, and the estimated cost of works involved; and / or
  • The proposed use/s of the site; and / or
  • You are amending an existing application.

For a copy of Council's fee schedule, please click here.

I have a Planning Permit that is about to expire - Can I get an extension of time?

You are able to make an application to Council to extend a Planning Permit. An extension is not automatically granted to extend a permit.  For more information on applying for an extension, please refer to our Extension of Time webpage.

What are Condition 1 Plans?

In many cases, Planning Permits / Approvals are issued subject to conditions which may require changes to the original plans submitted for assessment.  These changes are usually required under Condition 1 of the Planning Permit.  When the amended plans are submitted to Council in accordance with the Planning Permit, they are generally referred to as "Condition 1 Plans". For more information on this process, please click here.

Can I amend my endorsed plans?

You are able to make an application to Council to amend previously endorsed plans. There are two different ways in which you can apply to amend your plans:

  • Secondary Consent Amendment (Minor Modifications to endorsed plans that do not breach any conditions of the permit or what the permit allows).
  • Amendment pursuant to Section 72 of the Planning and Environment Act (Can include major changes and re-advertising of the proposal).

For more information on which method is more appropriate for you, please click here.

I want to run a business from my home. Do I need a Planning Permit?

If you are running a business from home, you must meet the requirements set out in the Home Occupation Guidelines (Clause 52.11) of the Kingston Planning Scheme.  If you do not meet these requirements, you may need a Planning Permit, or the proposed business may not be suitable to be run from a residential dwelling.  For more information, please refer to running a business from home.

Alternatively, if you have further queries, you can contact Council's City Development department on 9581 4131 Monday to Friday between the hours of 8:30am and 5:00pm or visit us at 1230 Nepean Highway, Cheltenham.

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