Planning FAQ's


Do I need a Planning Permit to use or develop my land and why?

Under the Planning and Environment Act 1987, Council is responsible for ensuring that land is used and developed in an environmentally, economically and socially responsible manner to provide a sustainable future for its residents.

Many things that we plan to do can affect other people. Therefore we need to have some process to ensure that decisions we make about land use and development are fair, orderly, economic and sustainable. The Wangaratta Planning Scheme consists of zones, overlays and other provisions which affect whether a permit is required. Generally, a permit is required for:

- Changing the use of your property (eg. shop to office)

- Commercial & industrial developments

- Two or more residential units

- Applying for a liquor licence

- Display of signage

- Waiver of car parking

- Native vegetation removal

Council’s Planning Department has developed Planning Advisory Sheets for advice and assistance to applicants for preparing their planning applications. These sheets are available on Council website

If you propose to use or develop land, it is best to first discuss the proposal with a planning officer at the Council. By arranging a pre-application meeting, the officer will be able to advise you as to what information you will need to submit with your planning application. For an appointment please contact the Council on (03) 5722 0888 to arrange a time with one of the Planning staff.

*Please note that it is not possible to answer this particular query in FAQ's as specific information is required to respond to the query.


What can I do with/on my land?

The use and development of a piece of land depends upon the zone, overlays and other planning provisions which affect the land. For example if land is zoned residential then it may be developed for residential purposes such as single dwellings, residential unit development etc. and likewise if it is zoned industrial then it may be developed for industrial purposes.

For more information please refer to the planning advisory sheets available at the Planning & Building Unit and on the Council website

*Please note that it is not possible to answer this particular query in FAQ's as specific information is required to respond to a query.


How do I know the Zoning/Overlays of my land?

The zoning and the overlays of a property can be obtained through a planning certificate. All applications for Wangaratta Rural City Council Planning Certificates must be obtained through LANDATA, the current planning certificate supplier on behalf of the Minister for Planning.

To place your order with LANDATA all you need are accurate property identifiers such as a Lot/Plan number with Volume/Folio and matching street address.

Orders can then be made by:

- Using the Planning Certificates Online Express Service:go to the Land Chanel website and select Title and Property Certificates. Your order will be processed and returned to you electronically.

- Standard Order: Post your application to LANDATA, PO Box 500, East Melbourne 3002 or lodge it in person at the Land Information Centre, Level 10, 570 Bourke Street, Melbourne.

You may also get a planning property report for your land from the Land Chanel website.

You can also check the zoning of your property by making an appointment with a planning officer at Council by calling 5722 0888. By making an appointment with a planner you will only be able to view the zoning of the property and will not obtain the information in writing (this can only be done through a Planning Certificate with LANDATA).


What is the difference between a Planning and Building Permit?

Planning permits are legal documents giving permission for a use and/or development of land. Building permits relate specifically to the carrying out of building construction. If a planning permit is required, it must be obtained before a building permit can be issued, however, both applications can be made at the same time.

For more information you can contact the Council's Planning unit on (03) 5722 0888 or

A list of planning permit forms are also available on the council website at the following link


How do I lodge a planning permit application and what information do I need to provide?

The information you will need to supply to apply for a planning permit will vary depending on what you are seeking a permit for, however generally you must include:

- A completed ‘Application for Planning Permit' form (duly filled and signed). A copy of an application form can be printed from Council's website (Planning Services)

- A current copy of your Certificate of Title searched within the last three months (including any covenants and map/ plan showing any easements)

- Payment of the Application Fee

- Three Sets of Layout and Elevation Plans of the proposed development

- Site Plan showing existing site conditions

- Locality Plan (site and its context)

- Explanation of the proposed use/development - hours of operation, number of employees, etc.

Further supporting information may be required if the site is covered by planning controls such as Heritage Overlay, Inundation Overlay, Bushfire Management Overlay etc. or other planning provisions such as car parking requirements.

Council encourages permit applicants to consult with one of the Council's Planning Officers prior to formally lodging an application. This should be done on an appointment basis.

The Application for Planning Permit form can be used to apply for planning permits in all areas where Council is responsible for issuing planning permits

Applications can be lodged:

- In person: by calling 03 5722 0888 and making an appointment to meet with one of the planning staff

- By mail: to Planning and Building Department, Wangaratta Rural City Council, PO Box 238, Wangaratta Victoria 3676


Why do I need to submit a current copy of title?

Title information confirms the location and dimensions of the land specified in the planning application and any obligations affecting what can be done on or with the land. As well as describing the land, a full copy of the title will include a diagram or plan of the land and will identify any encumbrances, caveats and notices.

It is important that you attached a current copy (searched within the last three months) of title for each individual parcel of land forming the subject site. 'Current' title information accurately provides all relevant and up to date information.

Copies of title documents can be obtained from Land Registry: Level 10, 570 Bourke Street, Melbourne; 03 8636 2010; or via the LANDATA website.


How long will my application take to be processed?

The planning process can be complex and Council must consider a wide range of policies and requirements. A decision may not be made for a considerable time after the application is lodged depending on the complexity of the use, need for further information, public notification, objections, the amount of referrals to relevant authorities and the decision process. It is not unusual for applications to take several months to determine, even where you may feel that the matter appears straight forward. If at any stage you have any queries about the proposal please contact the planner dealing with the application.


Do I need an application to remove/lop/destroy a tree in my property?

The Wangaratta Planning Scheme has many controls regarding the retention of vegetation. It is necessary for people inquiring about this issue to contact the Planning Unit as well as the Environment Unit and provide information on the type and health of the vegetation in question. This will assist officers in determining whether a planning permit is required to remove, lop or destroy the vegetation.


Do I need a planning permit to run a business from home?

Some businesses may be conducted from your private place of residence without Planning approval. However, the Wangaratta Planning Scheme has a number of requirements which need to be met. See Clause 52.11 of the Wangaratta Planning Scheme.

Although you may be able to conduct a business without a permit, if signage is to be erected, a planning permit may be required. Please contact the Council on 03 5722 0888 to arrange an appointment with a planning officer to gain further information on this matter or refer to Planning Advice Sheet No. 13 on Council’s website at

This checklist is intended to assist residents who are seeking to carry out a home occupation from their place of residence.


How do I check the status of a planning permit application?

If you have a current application in with Council you will be kept updated by the responsible officer as your application progresses through each stage of the planning process. If you have not heard recently, you may contact the relevant planning officer.


How do I object to a planning permit application?

Where a proposal may cause detriment to another person or the amenity of an area, the application will be notified to persons likely to be affected by the proposal. Objections can be lodged with the Council any time up to when a decision is made, however objections are usually lodged during the 14 day period which the application is advertised.

You can object to an application in writing, outlining how the proposal will affect you. Every objection must include your name and contact details (including address). If you would like guidance in regards to exactly what information to include you can use the 'Objection to grant a Planning Permit' form located at the bottom of this page.  Once an objection is received, the objector will be advised of the Councils decision. Objections can be emailed to, or mailed to PO Box 238, Wangaratta, 3676.


How do I amend a planning permit?

An application can be made to Council to amend a current planning permit including any endorsed plans. Applications need to include the required fee, a copy of the amended plans and detailing of the proposed amendments. There are two processes for amendment. One is secondary consent essentially covering minor changes and the second is a formal amendment process. Council encourages the permit holder to contact Planning staff to discuss the appropriate amendment process.

Depending on the number and extent of the amendments proposed, an amendment application may be advertised and referred to service authorities. An amendment application can also be made for the alteration or removal of conditions on a Planning Permit. Such applications must provide justification for the amendment of the condition and the likely effect of the amendment(s).

Under some circumstances, Council may amend planning permits or associated plans that have been issued at the direction of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Application for a formal planning permit amendment

Application for an Amendment under Secondary Consent


Can my planning permit be extended?

A condition on your planning permit will set down the time period for which the development and/or use must commence and be completed by. The permit will expire if the permit is not complied with in the specified times. An extension to this time can be applied for within three months of the expiry. An application must be accompanied by the applicable fee and an explanation as to why an extension to the permit is being sort.

Extension of Time to a Planning Permit Form

Use this form to apply for an extension of time to an existing planning permit.


What if I have a general enquiry requiring a written response?

Any written request should be addressed to the Planning and Building Department, Wangaratta Rural City Council, PO Box 238, Wangaratta, Victoria 3676 clearly outlining your request and providing your full contact details, in some instances plans and titles may also need to be provided. To assist us to reply to your enquiry promptly, it is requested that you supply as much information as possible.


What are my appeal rights?

If you have objected to an application for a planning permit that Council has supported you have the opportunity to lodge an appeal against the decision. The appeal must be lodged at the Victorian Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) within 21 days of the determination date. If Council has refused or supported your application subject to conditions, the applicant has the opportunity to also appeal to VCAT within 60 days of the determination date. Please refer to Planning Advice Sheet No. 7 on Council’s website for more information

This information sheet is designed to assist permit applicants and/or objectors who are considering lodging an application for review of the Council's decision at VCAT. Noting that both applicants and submitters receive these details as part of the application process.


How do I change the zone of my land?

It is advised that you contact Council's Planning Department if you wish to change the zoning of your land. There should be a strong strategic planning justification for the rezoning. The rezoning process is usually complex and time consuming and occurs via a planning scheme amendment. Support of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) for such an amendment is critical. The Minister for Planning is the approval authority for an amendment. There are fees associated with such an amendment. You are encouraged to discuss any planning scheme amendment process with planning staff before processing to formulate an application.


How can I be involved in the plan preparation process or make a submission/object?

Council encourages participation and seeks input of the community, landowners and stakeholders in the development of planning strategies, plans, policies and other planning controls. This is done through consultation meetings, giving notices in a local paper, written correspondence to affected parties and formally exhibiting the planning scheme amendments. You may contact Council's Planning Department if you wish to attend such a consultation meeting and/or make a written submission when feedback is sought by Council. All submissions received are acknowledged by Council in writing.


Can I subdivide my land and is there a minimum lot size?

It depends on the zone and other planning provisions that apply to the land. Please refer to Planning Advice Sheet No.10 on Council’s website for more information


Can I apply online?

No. Forms can be downloaded from the Council website but applications must be lodged in person or via mail.




No. Forms can be downloaded from the Council website but applications must be lodged in person or via mail.

No. Forms can be downloaded from the Council website but applications must be lodged in person or via mail.

No. Forms can be downloaded from the Council website but applications must be lodged in person or via mail.

PDFObjection to grant a Planning Permit (240 KB)

Last Updated: 12-05-2017

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