Do I need a building or planning permit?

Permits for planning and permits for building are separate approvals that must be obtained for construction or changes to the use or development of land.

Depending on the type of development or works you will be doing, you may require none, one or both of these permits.


Building permits ensure that work complies with the Building Act 1993, Building Regulations 2018 and the National Construction Code.

Getting a building permit

Step 1.Check for exemption

Most building and construction works require a building permit. However, there are some situations that may be exempt.

Most commonly, this could include the construction or demolition of:

  • private garages
  • carports
  • sheds
  • fences
  • retaining walls
  • swimming pools
  • decks and verandahs
  • private bushfire shelters.

Other exemptions may include:

  • repair and maintenance on an existing building
  • alterations to an existing building
  • structures built to display a sign
  • construction of as pergola
  • temporary real estate signs
  • excavation work that is not connected with a building, for example land clearing
  • installation of solar panels and other roof-mounted systems.

The Victorian Government building regulations provides full detail on potential exemptions.

If your project is exempt, then you do not need to hire a surveyor or obtain a building permit.

Step 2.Hire a surveyor

Check that you surveyor is registered with the Surveyors Registration Board of Victoria.

Your surveyor will confirm the requirement for a building permit, and why.

Permits can be issued by any licensed building surveyor within Victoria.

We also operate our own service with Banyule BPI, and can help you navigate the standard requirements for various projects.

Step 3.Check for planning permit requirements

Your project may require building and planning permits.

Check for planning permit requirement

You can apply for a building permit and a planning permit at the same time.

However, it is important to understand that approval for a building permit may take days while a planning permit may take months.

In these cases, you can apply for a building permit, but it cannot be issued until we approve your planning permit.


Planning permits are required for the use, development and protection of land as governed by the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

We are the responsible authority for planning applications within Banyule. We assess the suitability and safety of developments, and ensure that new developments have a positive impact on our environment and community.

Remember, some common building projects do not require a planning permit.

Getting a planning permit

Step 1.Consult zones and overlays

The Banyule Planning Scheme determines if a planning permit is needed and defines the way land can be used and developed.

It includes both text and maps that show the zones and overlays that affect land.

Have a look to understand more about what may be in play.

Step 2.Planning report search

The planning report search provides you with a free and easy summary of planning information relating to your property.

Search your street address

Step 3.Request property information

Although optional, you can request property information from us that will help you in obtaining a planning permit.

This information will tell you if your property is subject to overland water flows, termites, prone to bushfires and more.

Request your property information