Find answers to a range of frequently asked questions related to planning.
The West Wimmera Planning Schemes consists of zones, overlays and other provisions which determine whether a permit is required. To check which zones and overlays affect your property, visit VicPlan
Generally, a permit is required for:
You should not assume that any works, however small, do not require a permit.
A planning permit is often required if you wish to remove or prune trees or:
It is important you talk to Council before you remove any vegetation.
Your application will have the best chance of being approved if:
The following link will provide more information on exemptions: Exemptions from requiring a planning permit to remove, destroy or lop native vegetation
There are many types of liquor licences. Most require planning permission prior to obtaining a liquor licence from the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC).
The type of licence required is determined by VGCCC, not by council or the applicant. Therefore, you should contact VGCCC to determine the appropriate type of licence before making an application for a planning permit. Details of the type of liquor licences that require a Planning Permit can be found here.
A bring your own (BYO) permit does not need a planning permit from council.
A permit is also required for the following:
Yes, you need a planning permit to subdivide land. In most instances, you will be required to apply for a planning permit for a development (eg. the construction of a second dwelling on a lot) before applying to subdivide the land. This is done to ensure the new lots are able to be used for the purpose of the subdivision.
Minimum lot sizes for subdivision are prescribed by the relevant zones, schedules and overlays that apply to the property under Council’s Planning Scheme(PDF, 34MB).
Speak to Council to understand whether your land can be further subdivided.
When proposing to build a new fence, there may be a requirement for a building and/or planning permit. Prior to applying, it is important to discuss the proposed fence with any neighbours who share the same boundary.
Common reasons that require a planning permit for a fence include:
Please note: Regulations concerning the cost sharing of boundary fences is a civil matter and is outside Council’s jurisdiction. You will find further support at www.disputes.vic.gov.au
In certain areas a planning permit might be required for the construction of a single dwelling or extension and/or additions to a single dwelling. The need for a planning permit may be triggered by zoning such as commercial Zone, or overlay controls such as heritage overlay, or the size of the land.
Common reasons for needing a planning permit for an extension to a dwelling include:
You can run a business from your house/dwelling without a planning permit, if it meets the 'home occupation' requirements specified in the planning scheme(PDF, 34MB).
A planning permit is not required for a 'home occupation' sign if the sign does not exceed 0.2 sqm in area and is not in an area included in the heritage overlay.
If the home occupation requirements cannot be met, the business will need to be operated from a suitable commercial area.
In Victoria, local councils have not sought to control short-term letting or visitor accommodation in an existing residence through local planning schemes.
It is recommended you contact Council’s building and health department on 13 99 72 about your proposal as there might be other regulations that need to be adhered to.
More often than not, a planning permit is required for signs (i.e. business identification signs). If you require a planning permit for signage you will need to determine what zone applies to the land and if there are any overlays affecting the property.
Each zone will specify what category of signage controls apply. Clause 52.05 of the planning scheme(PDF, 34MB) will advise what types of signs require a planning permit, what signs are prohibited, and what signs do not require planning approval.
A dependent person’s unit is defined in the planning scheme as a “moveable 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.” These are sometimes known as ‘granny flats’.
Common reasons for requiring a planning permit for a dependent person’s unit include:
The purpose of the farming zone is primarily to provide for the use of land for farming and agricultural activities.
An application for a planning permit needs to demonstrate that the dwelling is reasonably required for the agricultural use occurring on the land.
A planning permit is triggered based on the size of the property (either less than 40 or 80 hectares depending on the location) and the siting of the dwelling (close to a boundary line for example).
If a shed is proposed on a lot without a dwelling, this may be classified as another form of land use such as a store which:
Living in a shed is often seen as a cost‐effective and practical option while building a house. However, it is illegal to occupy a shed or garage for residential purposes unless building and planning permit approvals have been obtained to construct a permanent residence on the site.
Any shed proposed to be used for temporary accommodation would also need to comply with the building code requirements for residential buildings.
Residential buildings require a higher standard of construction and significant and costly upgrade works will usually be required.
No, it is illegal to live in a shed, garage or temporary home for residential purposes. Under the building code, residential buildings or a dwelling requires higher standard of construction than sheds, especially in bushfire prone areas.
People often enquire about living in sheds or a temporary home as a money saving option to occupy land while planning or building a dwelling, causing further problems down the track.
It is always advisable to contact Council’s planning and building departments to ensure buildings on a property that you are interested in are legal.
A planning permit is required to subdivide land.
Generally, lots are smaller in township areas and larger in farming areas.
Minimum lot sizes for subdivision are prescribed by the relevant zones, schedules and overlays that apply to the property under Council’s planning scheme.