Planning Permits


If you have any queries about planning, or wish to talk to a planning officer before you lodge your application, a planner is available at the Warrnambool Civic Centre between 8:30am and 5.00pm weekdays. If you wish to see a specific planner, please phone ahead on (03) 5559 4800 to make an appointment.

For larger, more complex proposals, it is suggested you contact our City Strategy and Development Team to determine whether a pre-application meeting would be of assistance. Please ensure you bring along any plans or documents that may assist in the discussion.

Our City Development Team is responsible for assessing and enforcing planning permit applications in accordance with the Warrnambool Planning Scheme. The team also coordinates the issue of subdivision permits and the release of plans of subdivision.

Our City Strategy Team is responsible for the development and implementation of strategies, policies and frameworks in accordance with the future vision of the Council.  The team also coordinates and prepares amendments to the Warrnambool Planning Scheme to implement Council’s directions and initiatives.

The Warrnambool Planning Scheme sets out where developments and uses require a planning permit.

There are a variety of instances where you may need a planning permit such as:

  • The subdivision of land.
  • The removal or lopping of native vegetation.
  • Construction of outbuildings (sheds and garages).
  • Construction and works relating to a dwelling on a lot less than 300m² in a residential area.
  • The construction and use of a dwelling in many rural and rural residential areas.
  • Development and use of a multi-unit development.
  • Changing the use of the land - setting up a new business.
  • Constructing, altering and sometimes painting a building located within a Heritage Overlay.
  • Demolition of a building in a Heritage Overlay.
  • Commencing or expanding a business without sufficient on site car parking.
  • Constructing a tennis court or swimming pool.
  • Applying for a new liquor licence or extending an existing licence.

A planning permit is a legal document that gives permission for a use or development on a particular piece of land. To obtain a permit, an application must be made to Council. If Council agrees with the proposal, it will grant a planning permit.

Preparing a planning permit application

Step 1: Find out if a permit is required

Talk to a Council planner to find out whether a permit is required, what information must be provided with the application, and what relevant policies and provisions Council will use to assess it.

Different information will need to be provided for different types of permit applications and might include site plans, elevation drawings or a written report.

Step 2: Fill out the application form

When lodging your application, you must submit the following items:

  • A completed Application Form.
  • The Fee applicable to the application (The current schedule of Fees is available above).
  • A recent copy of Title including details of any covenants or encumbrances affecting the land.
  • A written summary of what you propose.
  • Three (3) copies of any site plan drawn to scale.
  • Three (3) copies of any elevations drawn to scale.
  • Any photos you have of the site.
  • For single dwellings on a site less than 300m2 and for multi-unit development additional information may be required.
  • Any other information required by the Warrnambool Planning Scheme in relation to the type of application being made.

You should provide all of the required information when you submit the application to enable your application to be expedited.

Step 3: Submit the application

Try to lodge the application with the council planner you discussed the proposal with. Get them to check that all the necessary information is provided. Council also accepts electronic lodgement of subdivision applications through SPEAR.

You will receive an acknowledgment letter from Council. The Council planner will check the application and advise you (in writing) within a reasonable time if more information is required. If more information is required, you should provide it promptly or the application won’t be processed further.

The application is a public document and is available for inspection at the Council offices. So that people who may be affected by the proposal can understand what’s proposed, copies of plans may be made available to them.

For further information on the planning permit process refer to the Planning: A Short Guide available on the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning’s website.

Having your say

If you are affected by a planning permit application, you can influence what is proposed and what gets approved. Any person can inspect the plans and make a submission about an application if they have concerns about it, and an objector also has the right to have a planning decision reviewed.

Objections must be made in writing to Council, clearly stating the reasons for the objection and how you would be affected if a permit was granted. The objection must include the subject site and planning application number, a contact name, postal address and daytime telephone number.

You can write a letter or complete an Objection Form . Objections should be received before the end of the 14 day notification period.