Planning FAQs

Do you have a question about planning in Darebin? Get answers to common planning questions.

What does it mean if my land is in a special building overlay?

A special building overlay identifies places that are prone to overland flooding, and sets conditions to address this. It ensures that floor levels sit above the flood level and that structures like buildings and fences don't block the flow of water.

These overlays require a planning permit for buildings and works. To check if you're in an area covered by the special building overlay, visit the VicPlan website.

It's always best to talk to Melbourne Water before you apply for your planning permit. They need to agree with what you want to do and sign off on your plans.

If a special building overlay the only reason you need a planning permit, you can fast-track your application through the VicSmart process.

How big is my block of land?

We can tell you roughly how big your block of land is, but you need a copy of the certificate of title, including the plan of subdivision, to get an accurate size. This includes the land dimensions, which you can use to calculate your overall lot size.

To get a full copy of your title online, please visit the Landata website or call Land Victoria on 03 8636 2010.

Do I need a planning permit for a home extension?

You may need a planning permit for a home or unit extension. Factors that influence whether you need a permit include lot size, any older permits we’ve issued, specific planning controls and site location.

To find out if you need a planning permit for your extension, check the zone and overlays that affect your property on the VicPlan website.

Do I need pre-application advice?

Pre-application advice is highly recommended because it can help ensure everything is in order before you apply for a planning permit. We will:

  • give you feedback about your proposal, including an outline of what you need to improve
  • confirm the information you need to submit with your planning application
  • advise if the proposal is unlikely to be approved and tell you why

For more information, visit our pre-application advice page.

There is a restrictive covenant on my title. How do I remove it?

The planning permit process is one way to apply to remove a restrictive covenant. We must notify all beneficiaries of the covenant. If one or more beneficiaries object to the covenant removal, we must refuse the application.

Can I get a copy of endorsed plans or a planning permit for someone else's property?

Yes, you can apply for endorsed plans or a planning permit for another property.

You can only get a copy of endorsed plans if:

  • you’re the architect who drew the plans
  • you own the copyright of the plans
  • you've written consent from the architect or copyright owner.

If you can't get consent, don't worry. You can still view the endorsed plans at our planning counter. Please call us on 03 8470 8850 to arrange a time to view the plans.

What if I think a development is illegal?

If you're concerned that a development is illegal or doesn’t meet permit conditions or the plans you viewed, you can report a suspected breach.

Can I build a dependent person's unit (granny flat)?

To meet the definition of a dependent person's unit under the Darebin Planning Scheme, your proposal must:

  • be a movable building on the same lot as an existing dwelling
  • provide accommodation for a person dependent on a resident of the existing dwelling

A moveable building is one that can be moved from place to place, not including a caravan, tent or vehicle. You can only provide a dependent person’s unit where a person is dependent on a resident of the main dwelling because of medical, economic or social reasons. You must remove the structure from the land when the dependent person is no longer using it.

If your proposal meets the above definition and it's the only dependent person's unit on the lot, it's likely that you won't need a planning permit.

Do I need a planning permit for advertising signage?

You may need a planning permit for advertising signage. It depends on the zoning, location and size of your proposed sign.

For more information, visit our Signs page.

Can I make changes to endorsed plans?

Yes, there are two ways to make changes to endorsed plans:

  • Secondary consent amendment - minor modifications to endorsed plans that don't breach any permit conditions or what they allow. It does not allow for changes to any of the wording planning permit conditions, or the description of what the planning permit allows.
  • Section 72 amendment - this is relevant for changing the wording of a planning permit condition, what the planning permit allows you to do, or more substantial changes to your endorsed plans. In some cases we will need to re-advertise your proposal

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

If you're running a business from home, you must meet the requirements in the Darebin Planning Scheme for a Home Bases Business. These requirements are contained within Clause 52.11 of the Darebin Planning Scheme. If you don't meet the requirements, your business may not be suitable for home, or you may need a planning permit.