Planning to Build - Guidelines

If you are planning to build make sure you carefully read through these guidelines.

Asset Protection for Council Land, Public Places and Building Sites

Before commencing any building work on a site, it is important that the owner of a property and the builder be familiar with the Council’s Local Law No. 7. The Local Law requires a person complete works in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. All Council assets must be protected against damage and must be safe for the public to access.

Building Over an Easement

Details of any easements that may exist on a property may appear on a property title. Land set aside for easements will commonly be shown on the plan of subdivision and will show any dimensions relevant to the easement and specify the type of easement and who has control over the easement. Easements are usually reserved for the location of services.

A structure, such as a dwelling, garage, shed, verandah, fence etc, cannot be located over an easement without prior consent from the party that will benefit or favour. Where a property contains a drainage easement, the owner of the property must prior to locating any structures over the easement make an application to the Council’s Building Department under regulation 310 of the Building Regulations 2006.

An application to building over a Council easement can be made by completing the Report and Consent Application Form. Other easements that may appear on a title include sewage, water, electricity, gas and telephone. Consent must be obtained from the relevant authorities prior to the establishment of buildings over their easements.

Building Permits

A building permit is usually required when completing new buildings or undertaking alterations and additions to an existing building.

This section of is currently under construction, and will contain a table listing common types of building work and whether they are subject to a building permit. In the meantime, please contact Council for this information.


A restrictive covenant is a private agreement between land owners which may restrict the way land may be used and developed. A covenant is not administered or enforced by the government or a municipal council.

If land is burdened by a registered restrictive covenant, an applicant for any permit must provide a copy of the covenant (and details of land benefited by the covenant, if required) at the time of making the building application.

A covenant can be removed or varied:

  • If authorised by a permit under the Planning and Environment Act 1987
  • If authorised by a provision of a planning scheme or an amendment to a planning scheme under the Planning and Environment Act 1987
  • By an order of the court under section 84 of the Property Law Act 1958

Any person proposing to seek variation or removal of a covenant under any of these procedures should obtain their own expert legal advice about options and procedures appropriate to the particular circumstances of the case, before making any commitments or starting any procedures.

Dial Before You Dig

Before commencing any excavation works you must be certain of the location of all underground services. Dial Before You Dig is an Australia-wide community service than can assist in the location of underground services and hence any damage to the services arising from excavation works.

Information can be obtained by dialling 1100 or visiting the Dial Before You Dig website.

Hoarding Permits

Hoardings are often erected over council assets to restrict public access to or near a building construction site.

A Hoarding Permit is required for the placement of safety fencing/hoarding on a road, footpath or nature strip. They often bound an area next to a building or construction site to restrict public access to a site.

Hoardings are generally made out of either solid timber or cyclone temporary fencing with shade cloth. They must be designed and constructed to ensure that the public safety is maintained at all times. It is generally the responsibility of the builder to erect and maintain hoardings.

Note: An application for a hoarding permit will need the submission of two copies of plans showing the dimensions and extent of occupation of hoarding, fencing or screened scaffolding. The applicant will also need to provide a description of safety precaution measures, procedures and schedules.

Noise - Construction Work

Noise generated from building work can affect adjoining property owners and the general neighbourhood. Where possible, construction noise should be kept to a minimum to avoid any disturbances to the community.

Developers and builders completing works which may generate noise that exceed neighbourhood noise levels can only complete works within the following hours during the day:

  • Monday to Friday, 7.00am to 8.00 pm
  • Weekends and public holidays, 9.00am to 8.00pm

If you intend to work outside these hours then you need to contact the Council’s Local Laws Department on (03) 5832 9700 to discuss measures that must be employed.

Owner Builder Requirements

See our Information for Owner-Builders page for information.

Planning Permits

It is important not to confuse planning permits with building permits. Building permits relate to the method of construction of a building or development.

Planning permits are legal documents giving permission for a land use or development, and may be required for all building work. If a planning permit is required, it must be issued before the building permit can be issued. A planning permit does not remove the need to obtain a building permit.

Planning permits relate to the zoning of the land including whether the land can be used for residential or commercial developments. Not all projects need a planning permit.

The best way to find out whether you need a planning permit is to contact Council’s  planning department.

An application for a planning permit should include all necessary supporting information, such as plans, reports, a site analysis, etc.

Fees are usually applicable. The planning department has prepared guidelines and checklists to assist applicants lodging a planning permit to ensure all relevant information is supplied.

Property Information

Information can be obtained as to whether a proposed building or land is in an area declared as liable to flooding, uncontrolled overland drainage, termite infestation or bushfire in accordance with Building Regulation 326(2). This information can be obtained by obtaining a ‘Request for Building Information’ form from Council.

Septic Tank Permits

The septic tank is the most common form of treating domestic waste in un-sewered rural areas.

The Council’s Health Services Department is responsible for ensuring that the installation and alteration of septic tank systems throughout the Council are in accordance with the current Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Code of Practice - Septic Tanks and relevant EPA Certificates of Approval.

It is the owner's responsibility to apply for a permit to install or alter the system before works commence. The Council’s Health Services Officers will inspect the system during installation to ensure the septic tank system meets the guidelines. Once the septic tank system is ready and approved to use, an Approval to Use will be issued to the owner.

All plumbing work must be completed by a licensed plumber who must issue a Plumbing Industry Commission – Compliance Certificate on the completion of all work.

An application form can be downloaded from our Septic Tanks page.

Siting and Amenity Provisions - Rescode Compliance

ResCode is a package of provisions for residential development that came into effect across Victoria on 24 August 2001. ResCode is not a single document – the ResCode provisions are incorporated into planning schemes and Building Regulations.

ResCode is underpinned by key measures to protect neighbourhood character and amenity and to ensure environmentally sustainable residential development.

When planning to construct or alter a residential dwelling, outbuilding or fence, these structures must be designed to meet the following regulations:

Dwellings and outbuildings

Maximum street setback
Minimum Street setback
Building Height
Site Coverage
Car parking
Side and rear setbacks
Walls on boundaries
Daylight to existing habitable room windows
Solar access to existing north-facing windows
Overshadowing of recreational private open space
Daylight to habitable room windows
Private open space


Front fence height
Fences setback from side and rear boundaries
Fences on or within 150mm of side or rear boundaries
Fences on street alignments
Fences and daylight to windows in existing dwelling
Fences and solar access to existing north-facing habitable room windows
Fences and overshadowing of recreational private open space
Mast and poles

Further information regarding the above building regulation provisions can be viewed from the Building Commission website.

Works Within Road Reserves (Vehicle Crossing Permits)

A permit is required for any works being completed in the road reserve. This applies to the installation or alteration of a new crossover (driveway), footpath or kerb. All works must be in accordance with the Council’s design requirements.

Works in the road reserve must not commence until a “Non-Utility Minor Works within Municipal Road Reserves” form (below) has been completed and returned to council for approval. An application fee must be paid. 

See our Working Within Road Reserves page for more info.

Building Litter

All litter generated as a result of building works must be contained on site in accordance with approved methods outlined in the Council’s Building Code of Practice. Penalties apply for any person who breaches the Code.

Please contact Council to obtain a copy of the Building Code of Practice.