Planning FAQ

Find answers on a range of frequently asked questions related to Planning.

  • Can I build a dwelling on my property/ a property I am interested in purchasing?

    The majority of Alpine Shire is a bushfire management zone, which means you need a permit to build a dwelling on your property. If your property is in the Significant Landscape Overlay (SLO), Heritage Overlay (HO), Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) or Land Subject to Inundation Overlay (LSIO), a planning permit is required. Please seek the services of a professional consultant to prepare appropriate plans if your property is within any of the formerly mentioned overlays.

    To find out what controls apply to your property, you can:

    • Obtain a free property report at or purchase a Certificate of Title or Planning Certificate from
    • View planning scheme maps here
  • Can I rezone my land?

    If you wish to change the zone to your land, you need to request a rezoning from Council. Rezoning must follow a particular process and must be approved by the Minister for Planning. Rezoning is treated as an amendment to the  Alpine Planning Scheme.

    Zones applying to land are based on assessments that include consideration of the surrounding land use, patterns of developments and environmental characteristics. If you wish to rezone your land, you will be required to justify why an Amendment to the Planning Scheme should be considered.

    The first step in contemplating a rezoning of your property is to talk to the Strategic Planning team.

    Contact our Customer Service for more information via email:

  • Can I sub-divide my property?

    In most instances, council can only offer speculative advice on the viability of a site for subdivision because of the complex nature of planning controls. If you are interested in subdividing your property, it is recommended you engage the services of a Planning Consultant or Land Surveyor.

    If your property is in the Farming Zone, subdivision is highly unlikely to be supported.

    To prepare an application to subdivide land, you will need to engage a licensed surveyor. 

    They can lodge the application on your behalf or recommend a private Town Planning professional to act on your behalf.  Other relevant professionals may need to be engaged, such as engineers or arborists. 

    How do I find a Land Surveyor?

    The Association of Consulting Surveyors is an autonomous body which represents private land surveying businesses throughout Victoria. To find a Land Surveyor you can utilise the ACSV search function on their website. Council is unable to recommend a Land Surveyor and must remain impartial as part of our duties in assessing your proposal.  

  • Do I need a permit to remove a tree on my property?

    It is important you talk to a planner before you remove any vegetation.

    A planning permit is often required if you wish to remove or prune trees or other:

    • Native vegetation on your land,
    • Non-native species of vegetation if the property is within an Heritage Overlay or Environmental Significance Overlay,
    • If there are planning permit conditions or other restrictions or agreements apply to your property.

    Your application will have the best chance of being approved if:

    • You demonstrate there is no other option but to remove the trees/vegetation,
    • The overall impact of the vegetation removal on the surrounding landscape and ecology of the area is minimal.
    • It is clear that tree/vegetation removal has been minimised, with good quality vegetation and significant, healthy trees being successfully retained,
    • You are willing to work with us on developing a revegetation plan to provide replacement planting that achieves a long-term environmental gain (this can be done through our biodiversity offsets program),
    • It has been prepared by a professional consultant after talking to one of our planners and includes detailed information from an arborist or ecologist.

    The following link will provide more information on exemptions: Exemptions from requiring a planning permit to remove, destroy or lop native vegetation

  • Do I need a planning permit to put a Tiny House/Caravan on my property?

    If it is not a moveable dwelling, you need a permit.

    If it is moveable dwelling, The Planning Department considers the inhabitation of any moveable dwelling as camping. You may lawfully camp on a site for up to 28 days in a year.

  • How do I get a copy of plans or certificates for my home?

    Please use the request for certificates and plans and contact the Building Services Team on (03) 5755 0555.

  • I want to build a house and a shed; can I build the shed first to store materials/ live in whilst the house is being built?

    It is illegal to occupy a shed or garage for residential purposes.

    Any shed proposed to be used for temporary accommodation would need to comply with the Building Code requirements for residential buildings.

    Residential buildings require a higher standard of construction and significant and costly upgrade works will usually be required.

  • I want to change my business/liquor license. Do I need a new permit?

    You can apply to amend your planning permit if you need to change:

    • conditions of a planning permit
    • the use or development for which the planning permit was issued
    • Hours of operation permitted
    • approved plans including the red line area for a liquor license.

    You will need to provide revised plans highlighting the proposed changes as well as an application to amend a planning permit form, a full, current copy of Title and the required application fee.

    Please read the conditions on your planning permit to make sure you can amend it, including the expiry date.

    The process for amending a planning permit is similar as applying for a new planning permit. The Council has the right to grant or refuse an amendment.


  • I want to learn more about requests for further information.

    Why did I get a request for further information?

    After your planning permit application is submitted, it is allocated to a planning officer for assessment.

    The planning officer may request further information if there is something missing, or any of the details of the application are unclear.

    If further information is required, the planning officer will send a request to the person listed as the contact on the application.

    What do I need to do when I get a request for further information?

    The further information request will outline what documents and/or information is missing from your application. If you are unsure about anything, contact the planning officer before submitting.

    You may need to engage the services of specialist consultants to assist you in responding to the further information request.

    Ensure you read the letter in its entirety and note the due date for the further information.

    How much time do I have to respond to my request for further information?

    The Request for Further Information will contain a due date by which you must respond.

    If you do not provide Council with all the requested information before the due date, your application will lapse and cannot be assessed further.

    You will need to lodge a new planning permit application, including all relevant fees and information.

    Can I extend the due date for my RFI response?

    If you are unable to respond to the request for further information by the due date, you must request an extension of time by submitting a request via email before the due date. The request for an extension must be made in writing.

    The planning officer will assess your request and provide a written response. Should an extension be granted you must adhere to the revised due date as per the above information.

  • My property is on a Farming Zone, can I develop on it?

    A dwelling proposal in the Farming Zone is unlikely to be supported by Council unless a full planning justification, including an adequate farm plan, is presented for the construction of a dwelling. The Farming Zone and associated Land use strategies are specifically designed to restrict residential development.

    Farming Zone lots larger than 40hA are subject to ‘as of right’ dwelling entitlements and are more likely to be supported.

    Please contact a Planning Consultant if you wish to develop your Farming Zone lot.

  • What are the key steps to the planning process, and how long will it take?

    See a visual overview of the planning process with timelines here.

    We are currently experiencing significant delays in processing planning applications, delivering planning decisions and investigating planning enquiries from our community. Our team is doing its best to respond to all enquiries promptly, however staff shortages are impacting our ability to deliver planning services to our usual standard.

    We appreciate your patience and understanding.

    Planning applications include several steps, many of which we’ve outlined below.  The good news: not all applications include every step!

    1. Seek planning advice
      We see good results when our applicants speak to a professional early in the project.  This might be arranging a meeting with Council’s planners or seeking your own independent planning consultant. 
    2. Submit a planning permit application
      When you send us the application, make sure to include all required information to avoid delays.  We’ll do an initial check in the first week to make sure all the key documents are there.  If any are missing, we’ll send you a list of what’s needed.
    3. Initial assessment and referrals
      In the first month, the planner works out if your applicant might need expert comment from other agencies or internal departments.  If expert comment is needed, it might take another month.
    4. Request for further information (RFI)
      Towards the end of the first month, the planner might need more information – if they do, they’ll write a letter outlining what’s needed.  Read the letter thoroughly and give the planner a call if you need clarity.  Pay attention to the lapse date – if this passes without a response, Council is required to lapse your application and the process needs to start again.
    5. Your application may be advertised, and the community can object to it.
      Legislation requires that most planning applications are advertised.  This always involves letters being mailed, but also may include a sign on-site or a notice in the local paper.
    6. If objections are received
      People can object to the application while it is advertised.  Our planners generally ask for a response to objections after the advertising period.
    7. A decision is made about your application
      Your application is assessed, and a decision is made. There are 3 types of decisions that can be made on a planning permit application, these are:
    • Issue a permit subject to conditions
    • Issue a notice of decision to grant a permit (when there are objections)
    • Refusal to grant a permit
    1. You can appeal to VCAT
      An applicant or objector can appeal a decision at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

    Anyone can appeal a planning decision with the VCAT. If you don’t agree with our planning decision, the VCAT is a State Government-appointed panel of experts that independently reviews council planning decisions.

    VCAT conducts public hearings and considers submissions from all parties before making a decision. For more information, visit the VCAT website.

    1. Make sure you comply with your permit conditions
      Once a planning permit is issued, it is your responsibility to make sure that the land use or development is consistent with the permit conditions.

     [KM1]IMPORTANT: Please add link to the process overview map. Map needs to be up on the website to do this.

  • What are the planning fees?

    Click here for the Alpine Planning fee Schedule


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