About Planning


If you are building or changing the way you use your land you may need a planning permit and/or a building permit.

Planning permits relate to the use of land in accordance with the planning scheme.  A planning permit allows land to be subdivided, developed or used for a particular purpose, such as the use and construction of a house and any associated works; tree removal or to operate a business or other commercial activity.

Building permits relate to structures and are required to ensure a construction complies with the Building Regulations 2006. A building permit may be required for a structure, fence or retaining wall. Building permits are issued by a private registered building surveyor.

When a planning permit is required, it will need to be approved prior to a building permit being issued. A building permit must be consistent with requirements of the planning permit.

Prior to commencing any works talk to a planner to see if a planning permit is required, and then find a building team to discuss obtaining a building permit.

2.Do I need a Planning Permit?

The relevant planning controls need to be established under the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme . The scheme can be found at any of the Shire’s Customer Service centres or online at the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure website which contains information on zones, overlays, state and local planning policies.

In some circumstances a planning permit is required for the development of buildings or dwellings and for the type of use proposed to be conducted on land. The removal of vegetation may also require a planning permit.

3.For General Planning enquiries

In Writing:

If you wish to obtain written advice please email:  customerservice@mornpen.vic.gov.au You will receive a written response within 10 working days.

By Phone:

Please call the Planning Services team on (03) 5950 1010 and a response will be provided within 24 hours.

Visit us:

At the Shire office in Mornington - Planning Counter, 2 Queen Street Mornington with your planning enquiry. In order to ensure a high quality of service, please note the last appointment for a pre application enquiry is 4:30pm.

4.Applying for a Planning Permit

Once it has been determined that a planning permit is required for your proposal, a planning application must be made. A planning permit is a legal document which gives permission for a specific use or development.

A completed Application for Planning Permit form, along with the fee prescribed under the Planning and Environment Fees Regulations 2000, three (3) sets of plans (site, floor and elevation plans) and a copy of title produced within the last three (3) months is required when submitting an application for development. The application requirements may differ depending on the type of application and the fee is determined based on the cost of the development. Checklists are available to assist with lodging varying types of use and/or development applications. Visit our section Planning Forms, Fees & Checklists

5.Metropolitan Planning Levy

From 1 July 2015, a new Metropolitan Planning Levy under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 was introduced by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

Payment of the levy must be made prior to making a planning permit application for developments valued at over $1,013,692.16 (current threshold for 2016/2017) within metropolitan council areas, of which the Mornington Peninsula Shire is part of.

The levy rate is set at $1.30 per $1000 (or 0.13% of the whole value of the development) for affected developments. For example, if the estimated cost of development for a planning permit application is $1,500,000, then the MPL payable would be $1,950 ($1,500,000 divided by $1,000 = $1,500 then $1,500 x $1.30 = $1,950)

If required, the levy must be paid to the State Revenue Office to receive a levy certificate. Mornington Peninsula Shire, as a responsible authority within the Melbourne metropolitan area are required to check that a valid levy certificate is submitted with a planning permit application if required. We are unable to accept any applications for development that do not come supplied with a levy certificate (if required). 

Further information, including how to apply for a Metropolitan Planning Levy certificate, can be found on the State Revenue Office website.

6.Planning Permit Amendments & Extensions of Time  

Under the Planning and Environment Act 1987, an application can be made to the Shire to amend both current applications and planning permits, as well as extend the expiry date of a planning permit. The application follows the same processes as a new application which may include advertising and referral if deemed necessary. If you wish to:
• Amend a current planning application
• Amend a planning permit/plans
• Extend the expiry date of a planning permit

Download Fact File Planning Amendments & Extensions of Time

7.Proposed Reform to Bushfire Regulations

What has been announced?

On 28 May Planning Minister Matthew Guy announced reforms to streamline Victoria’s bushfire planning regulations.  The reforms are intended to give greater certainty to residents and landowners in bushfire designated areas across Victoria. 

What changes are proposed?

The following is a summary of some of the key aspects of the proposed reforms that have been formally announced by the Planning Minister:

  • Allowing private bushfire bunkers as an alternative safety measure, where there may be increased bushfire safety risks that need additional consideration 
  • Allowing vegetation clearance to achieve defendable space – with clearance obligations being limited to the title boundary of the relevant property 
  • Ensuring the assessment of bushfire risk is consistent with the Australian Standard 
  • Allowing homes to be built on 'infill' lots surrounded by other dwellings 

It has also been reported that CFA’s ability to veto planning permit is also under review.

When will the changes commence?

The media release by the Planning Minister indicates that the state-wide amendment will be implemented shortly.

8.About VCAT

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) is an independent tribunal, which hears and decides on applications by permit applicants, objectors and others in an informal and expeditious manner upon their merits. It permits a broad range of people whose interests are affected by a decision to participate in a hearing.

The Planning and Environment List hears and determines:

  • Applications to review decisions made by Municipal Councils and other authorities under a number of Acts of Parliament 
  • Applications for enforcement orders, applications to cancel or amend permits and applications for declarations relating to the use and/or development of land under the Planning and Environment Act 1987. 

Once Council makes a decision on an application, a review by VCAT can be applied for by the permit applicant against conditions of a permit or a refusal to grant a permit, or by an objector against a Notice of Decision to grant a permit.

Please refer to the VCAT website guide Taking it to VCAT - A guide to Planning and Environment disputes at VCAT or for further information see the contact details for VCAT at the bottom of this page.

Contact VCAT: the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal

Office Hours: 9.00am to 4.30pm
Phone: (03) 9628 9777
Fax: (03) 9628 9789
Web: www.vcat.vic.gov.au 
Address: 55 King Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
GPO Box 5408, Melbourne 3001
DX 210576 Melbourne

9.Title and Property Certificates

To obtain a title or property certificates please contact Land Victoria on:
Phone: (03) 8636 2456 between 8:00 am and 5:00pm Monday to Friday
Download Fact File: How To Obtain Property Title  Link to LANDATA website

10.Certificate of Compliance Information

A certificate of compliance is issued by Council and formally confirms:

• that an existing use or development complies with the Mornington Peninsula Shire Planning Scheme (i.e. does  not require a planning permit); or
• that a proposed use or development complies with the Mornington Peninsula Shire Planning Scheme (i.e. does not require a planning permit).

In either case, the certificate states the facts at the date of the certificate. Unlike Council’s informal written advice, a certificate is a legal document and therefore has significant legal weight.

A certificate of compliance is not a form of development approval. If a use or development complies with the Mornington Peninsula Shire Planning Scheme, there is no need to apply for a certificate before proceeding. However, a certificate can give certainty if you wish to confirm that a proposed development, such as an extension to a dwelling, does not require a planning permit. It may also be useful to a person other than the developer who needs to rely on it, for example a financial institution lending on the security of the land.

How to apply for a Certificate of Compliance

An application is made to Council by completing the Application for a Certificate of Compliance Form(PDF, 347KB)(PDF, 347KB)
in conjunction with the  Checklist - Certificate of Compliance(PDF, 185KB)
together with payment of the prescribed fee of $306.

11.Meet our Team

Our planning team

 Our planning services unit process planning permits, planning scheme amendments and compliance matters.

 Our united approach to planning results in:

  • improved responsiveness and enhanced customer service
  • process improvement and simplification
  • refined performance measurement and reporting
  • high performing team members, and

We undertake regular reviews with our team members, interest groups and our regular applicants. We regularly assess statistics to evaluate decision-making timeframes for planning permits, planning compliance matters and planning scheme amendments.

Reviews help us to improve our services, and a number of process improvements such as standardised templates have been introduced.

We are also looking to reduce the complexity of the planning scheme to make it simpler to use for both Council planners and the community.

To better enhance our customer service, a dedicated Pre-Application Planner has commenced with the team, to enable the community to make appointments and give people sufficient time to discuss proposals or other related planning enquiries via a dedicated appointment schedule.  

Furthermore, we have created ‘Principal Planner’ positions to provide greater experience within the team.

Meet our team(PDF, 15KB)

Contact us