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Planning Permits

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Golden Plains Shire Council is the Responsible Authority under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 for the administration and enforcement of the Golden Plains Planning Scheme. The control of land use and development through the planning scheme is one of the most important tools available to Council in implementing its planning policies and strategies.

Council's Statutory Planning team provides information and advice about when a planning permit is or isn't required and the process involved. Planning officers will consider whether or not to grant a planning permit, and what conditions are appropriate. Some applications may be decided at a Council Meeting.

Many types of use and development require a planning permit, including, but not limited to:

  • Clearing or lopping of native vegetation;
  • Building a house or a shed;
  • Establishing a business (including working from home);
  • Industrial or Commercial development;
  • Keeping animals;
  • Subdivision
  • Applications to vary or remove a restrictive covenant

It is recommended that you contact Council's Statutory Planning team to determine if your proposal requires a planning permit; please contact us.

Applying for a Planning Permit: Greenlight

Greenlight is an online planning portal used by Council where you can lodge all planning permit related matters. You only need to register once to undertake any of the following functions:

  • Lodge a new planning permit application
  • Apply to amend an existing permit
  • Apply to amend a permit under consideration 
  • Apply for secondary consent
  • Apply for extension of time
  • Apply for written planning advice
  • Make a general enquiry
  • Seek pre-application advice

Applications can be submitted once all information is uploaded into Greenlight. In the days after lodgement, the nominated contact for the application will receive notification of the required lodgement fee and the name of the planner assigned the application. This correspondence will be generated via Greenlight and sent to the nominated email address. Payment is then required to be made online via the Greenlight portal.


As a guide to the type of information required to be lodged with an application for a permit, a checklist is provided below:

If you need assistance with Greenlight or do not have internet access, please contact us

Frequently asked questions

What is a planning permit and do I require one?

A planning permit is a legal approval to allow a certain use or development on the nominated land. A permit will normally consist of a written document that specifies the conditions that must be met and includes a endorsed plans. Other approved documents, as required, can also make up part of the approved permit.

Whether you need a planning permit depends on a range of factors including the zone in which your land is located, whether any overlays apply to your land and any applicable provisions in the Golden Plains Planning Scheme, or you can contact the Statutory planning team to discuss your proposal.

What documents do I need to lodge my new planning permit application?

As a guide to the type of information required to be lodged with an application for a permit, a checklist is provided below:

Where do I get a copy of title?

When lodging a planning permit application you must provide us with a full, current (no older than 60 days) copy of title for each parcel of land that is part of the subject site. You can get a copy of title from LandData by following these steps:

1. Select Title & property certificates (under Title & Property Information)

2. Enter the address of the land and confirm property details

3. Tick the boxes to Register search statement and Copy of plan

4. Select next and follow the prompts. 

Note: If a covenant or Section 173 Agreement applies to the land, be sure to request a copy of all of these documents to submit with your application. 

If you need assistance, call LandData on (03) 9102 0402 or speak to your solicitor or conveyancer for help. 

What fees are involved with applying for a planning permit?

How do I apply for a planning permit?

If you require a planning permit, you will need to:

  • Lodge an application via Council's ONLINE 'GREENLIGHT' PLANNING PORTAL

  • Provide appropriate supporting information. This will vary depending on the type of application; a planner can provide more specific advice and you may want to book a pre-application appointment.

  • Provide a recent copy of title (produced within the last 60 days) and any covenants and/or agreements applying to the land.

  • Provide plans showing the proposed development. This will include a site layout plan, internal layout plan, elevations with detail such as orientation and proposed external materials. All plans must be legible and to scale.  

  • Ensure that the existing or proposed property access points are identified on plans.  

  • Applications can be submitted once all information is uploaded into Greenlight. In the days after lodgement, the nominated contact for the application will receive notification of the required lodgement fee and the name of the planner assigned the application. This correspondence will be generated via Greenlight and sent to the nominated email address. Payment is then required to be made online via the Greenlight portal.

If your proposal is complex, or if you are not sure what information you need to submit with your application, it is recommended that you arrange a pre-application meeting with a planner. Please contact Customer Service for more information.

What is a VicSmart application and am I eligible?

If you are lodging a VicSmart application, you must review the checklist (below) and ensure all of the specified information is submitted. If the information is not supplied you will be advised that the application will not be accepted or processed as a VicSmart application.

VicSmart is a streamlined planning process for straightforward applications. The planning scheme identifies what classes of application are suitable for VicSmart and specifies what information is required to be provided, assessment processes and decision guidelines.

Key features of VicSmart include:

  • A decision is expected to be made within 10 business days

  • Applications are exempt from advertising

  • An applicant is required to submit all necessary information with the application including any referral authority approval before lodging the application with Council.

Eligible applications

Not all applications are eligible for the VicSmart process. To understand if your proposal is eligible to be lodged as a VicSmart and to understand the application requirements, please contact the planning department here.

What's involved in the processing of a planning permit and how long will it take?

The length of time to assess a planning permit application will depend on the complexity of the proposal.  Other factors which impact on timeframes include whether or not any referrals and advertising are required and if objections are received. Referral bodies include, but are not limited to, the water authority, electricity provider, the CFA, Department of Transport and/or internal referrals. Providing all necessary supporting information at lodgement will hasten the assessment process. As a very general guide, applicants are advised to allow 60-90 days for the application. Some applications will be finalised in a shorter timeframe, others will take longer.

If Council believes that your proposal may have a detrimental impact upon surrounding residents, such as your neighbours, Council may be required to give notice of your proposal. Advertising required may involve sending a notice to neighbours, placing a notice on the site or a notice in the newspaper.

In response to the advertising, neighbours may object to the proposal. These objections must state how the proposal will affect them. Council must take into account the concerns raised in objections. Council may arrange a consultation meeting to attempt to resolve any concerns.

In some circumstances, Council may be required under the Planning Scheme to refer your application to statutory authorities. Referral authorities have 28 days to respond to a referral, provided the applicant has given sufficient information.

Council will decide to either approve or refuse an application. Applicants and objectors have an opportunity to appeal a decision within the specified timeframes if they are not satisfied. Appeals are dealt with by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Will my permit need to be advertised?

How can I view planning permits that have been granted?

1. Go to the greenlight portal

2. Click planning department > Search public planning register

3. Put in an address and any planning permit applications will come up

Once the permit is issued, how can I apply to amend my Planning Permit, request an extension of time, submit plans for endorsement or request secondary consent?

When you are an external user you can add documents into Greenlight the following way. If you are not an external user call Statutory Planning on 5220 7111 and we will update the record with your details.

1. Click here to access the portal

2. Go to Planning Department > Search Public Planning Register

3. Open the Application register and search the permit number or address. Click the appropriate planning permit no. (P20xxx)

4. Login to Greenlight. The next page will open, click the process you wish to begin - Amend permit, Extension of time, Submit plans for endorsement or Secondary consent request

5. Update the fields as required and 'save and proceed' your way through the process

6. Add in your applicant details. It is important to ensure that all your details are added including your email address and contact phone number

7. Add any necessary attachments. Save and submit for each document you upload

8. Ensure you press SUBMIT when everything has been uploaded and you will recieve a confirmation email

Should you require further assitance please call 5220 7111 and ask for Statutory Planning.

How do I apply for a Certificate of Compliance?

Under section 97N of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, you may apply to the responsible authority for a certificate stating that an existing use of the land complies with the requirements of the planning scheme at the date of the certificate, or a certificate stating that a proposed use of the land would comply with the requirements of the planning scheme at the date of the certificate.

To apply, please read the information on the certificate of compliance form. Submit the form along with supporting documentation and applicable fee and the application will be assessed.

What is a section 173 Agreement and how do I prepare one?

Section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic) allows for a responsible authority (usually a council) to enter into an agreement with a landowner. A section 173 agreement is legally binding and will be registered on the land title. The subject matter for section 173 agreements is broad, but typically they will contain provisions regulating use and development of the land. It is important you allow plenty of time if your permit requires a section 173 agreement to be drafted as preparation and registration of the agreement can vary significantly based on individual circumstances.

It is at the discretion of the owner as to who they engage to prepare the Agreement, however a review/checking fee will be incurred if the Agreement is drawn up by a firm other than Harwood Andrews. Council has engaged Harwood Andrews to check agreements and to register Agreements to Title. Costs and expenses incurred in association with the checking and review of 173 Agreements must be borne by the applicant.

You may choose to use Harwood Andrews to draw up the Agreement and avoid the checking fee.

For more information contact Clare McKenna by email at [email protected], by phone on 5226 8533, or via their online portal at

What is a restrictive covenant?

A restrictive covenant is a private treaty or written agreement that runs with a parcel of land and restricts the way that land can be developed. An information sheet on Restrictive Covenants can be found here.

What is meant by existing use rights?

Existing use occurs when your land is being used in a legal way, either with an approved permit or an approved use where a permit is not required, and the planning controls now in place prohibit that use. An information sheet on Existing Use Rights can be found here.

What is required from council to construct or extend a dam?

An information sheet on dams can be found here.


Other useful guidelines, forms and codes

 If you have questions or would like to discuss a permit, please contact us.

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Page Last Updated:

Tuesday, 14 December 2021 - 9:16am


Golden Plains Shire spans the Traditional lands of the Wadawurrung and Eastern Maar people. Council acknowledges them as the traditional Traditional Owners and Custodians of this land and pays its respects to Wadawurrung Elders and Eastern Maar Elders past, present and emerging. Council extends that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ppeople who are part of Golden Plains Shire.