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What is Planning?

What is the difference between a Planning Permit and a Building Permit?

The planning permit and building permit systems are very different and operate under separate legislation, although they are often related to each other.

A building permit will be required for most commercial, industrial and residential development including new buildings, alterations and additions to factories, warehouses, shops, dwellings, sheds and in some cases fences and retaining walls. Building permits can be obtained from our Municipal Building Surveyor or a private building surveyor.

Prior to any construction or activity on your site (including removal of vegetation or change of use), a proposed development may require a Planning Permit, Building Permit or both.

Planning Process

Planning refers to the decisions that change the environment and affect everyday life. These decisions might be about new public transport, the size of a new shopping centre, the location of parks, a bike path, new road or the use or development on a particular piece of land.

A Planning Permit is a legal document that gives permission for a use or development on a particular site.  The planning permit process can be simple or complicated depending on many variable factors that can happen during the process. 

The Kingston Planning Scheme sets out rules by applying 'zones' to all land in Kingston.  These zones determine what uses are allowed, what uses are prohibited and what uses require approval through the planning permit process.  In some circumstances 'overlays' are also applied to land that outlined a special set of rules based on the unique features of land (for example, it may be susceptible to flooding.

To obtain a Planning Permit you must make an application to your local Council.

The council makes most of the planning decisions that affect its municipality. For example, it decides whether or not to grant a planning permit for a new use or development, and what permit conditions are appropriate.

The council’s planning department provides information and advice about the planning scheme, and processes and coordinates planning proposals for council’s consideration.

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What next?


Upon receipt of your your Planning Permit and approved plans, you may require various other approvals, some of which may include:

Building Permit;

Health Approval; or

Liquor License.

For more information on any additional requirements, please contact the City of Kingston on 1300 653 356.

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