Town planning requirements


What is Planning?

Planning is concerned with the use of land, ensuring that land is well managed taking into account the needs of the community and the environment.

Planning involves making decisions that change the environment and affect everyday life. These decisions might be about dwelling locations, vegetation removal & re-vegetation, commercial development and protection of the environment.

A permit is not always required to use or develop land. Planning schemes allow some change in land use without the need for a permit, providing conditions are met. Some uses or developments may be prohibited.

The Planning Department within Loddon Shire Council has the role of developing and maintaining a quality town planning service.

The Department has specific responsibilities for:

  • Strategic and statutory planning, including the review and assessment of planning and subdivision applications, development of local policies and planning scheme amendments
  • Ensuring minimum impact on the environment, drainage and access by development or subdivision
  • Planning enforcement
  • Planning enquiries and customer service
  • Native vegetation control
  • Heritage planning
  • Liquor licensing

A planning permit should not be confused with a building permit. It is not the Planning Department's role to approve the construction/structural integrity of a building. That is the role of a Building Surveyor, who is required to issue the relevant building permit, pursuant to Building Legislation. If a planning permit is required for the development, then the Council's building department should be contacted to determine the need for a building permit. You can find more information about building permits by going to building services on our website.

Appointments are recommended for customers wishing to make an enquiry with staff. Please contact Council on 03 5494 1200 to make an appointment with the Planning Department.

What planning controls affect my property?

Whether purchasing a property, or just enquiring about your own or your family's land, you are encouraged to consult the Planning Maps Online website to determine what planning controls affect the way land can be used or developed.
Planning Maps Online allows you to search on a particular address across Victoria and view and print a report on the zoning and overlay controls affecting that property.
Should you be seeking further information in relation to what the planning controls mean, you can view the Loddon Planning Scheme online. Visit the Loddon Planning Scheme to view the relevant information.

It is also recommended that you contact the Planning Department as planning controls can be complex. Please contact the Councils Planning Department on (03) 5494 1200. An appointment can be made to meet with a Planning Officer who can assist you to understand the relevant controls.


What is a Zone?

A zone is the tool to identify the key land use expected in an area – such as industry, residential or farming.

A zone will indicate when a permit is required to use, develop or subdivide land. It will also identify specific application requirements as well as what council will take into account when making a decision on a proposal. This includes strategy, overlays, particular provisions and general provisions.

A zone sets out land use controls in three sections:

Section 1 - Land uses that do not require a planning permit

Section 2 - Land uses that require a planning permit

Section 3 - Prohibited uses – uses than cannot occur on the land

If a use is listed in Section 2 this does not mean that a permit will be granted. The suitability of the use to the specific site must be assessed against state and local policy and any particular provision applicable.


What is an Overlay?

Overlays are a tool to indicate land with specific development requirements or restrictions. This indicates the types of issues that may need to be taken into account when considering an application. The Heritage Overlay, Bushfire Management Overlay and Flood Overlay are examples.

The overlay information will indicate if a planning permit is required for the construction of a building, the subdivision of the land and/or other changes to the land. It will also specify the type of information that will be required to make a decision as to whether a planning permit will be granted.


Do I need a Planning Permit?

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 and socially equitable, as well as being economically and environmentally sustainable.

For specific information on planning permits, on how to apply for a planning permit, and what may occur in the permit application process, please go to Planning permits.