Planning Application Process

There are several steps involved when applying for a planning permit. Find out how to prepare and submit your application, how we assess your application and how to appeal a decision.

Some steps may not be relevant to your application.

Do your research

Doing your research will help you identify key information, reduce timeframes, and avoid costs or hurdles that may appear during or after the planning permit process.

The following steps will help you find the information you need to start your planning permit application:

Visit VicPlan to create a planning property report. The planning property report will identify the zones and overlays that apply to your site.

The zones and overlays will tell you:

  • What you can and can’t do on the site.
  • What information is required for an application.
  • The guidelines used to make planning decisions.

Review the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme  and identify any relevant policies that apply to your site and the proposed use. This will also help you understand what information is required for an application and what we need to consider when making planning decisions.

Obtain a certificate of title from Landata .

A copy of title is required with your application to confirm ownership details, location and dimensions of the land and any restrictions which may affect what can be developed on the land.

The copy of title must be no more than 3 months old. This ensures Council have an up to date copy, inclusive of any recent changes. The certificate of title will identify any covenants, encumbrances or easements that may restrict or impact your proposal. You will need to pay small fee to obtain the title.

When ordering the title, make sure you include the:

  • Register Search Statement.
  • Certificate of title.
  • Any instruments identified as s173 agreements, covenants, encumbrances or easements. You do not need to order mortgage instruments.

    A step by step guide to obtaining a certificate of title can be found here How to obtain a Certificate of title.



Book a pre-application meeting

We recommend you obtain pre-application advice before applying for a planning permit. This could include a phone call or visit to our planning counter, or a formal pre-application meeting

In the pre-application meeting, we will:

  • Discuss if your application meets the requirements of the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme.
  • Discuss key issues with your proposal.
  • Explain the application process.
  • Provide advice on what information you will need to support your application.


Prepare your application

A well-prepared application will help you to avoid delays and the likelihood of having to update your application later in the process. Use the information given at the pre-application meeting and available on the  Planning section of council’s website to help you prepare your application

You can also engage professional planning consultants, building designers/architects, traffic engineers, environmentally sustainable design engineers, and other technical specialists to prepare your planning permit application


Lodge your application

The Planning Application Portal is currently unavailable. Please email to lodge your application.

For enquiries regarding lodgement requirements please visit our Planning Forms, Fees & Checklists page or call Planning Support on 5950 1010.

Initial Assessment

We will start the planning assessment and may arrange an inspection of the property.

If we find that your application is missing information, we will send you a written request for further information (RFI).

We may include preliminary concerns or issues with your application in the RFI letter. You will have the opportunity to update your application accordingly. You should address any issues at this stage, or your application may not be supported. We recommend speaking to us before submitting any changes.

You can amend your application at any time during the planning permit application process, however this will incur additional fees and delays if it is done after the public notice stage, so we recommend you respond to any preliminary concerns at the RFI stage.

If we have sufficient information, we will refer your application to:

  • Internal Council departments for review if required
  • External referral authorities if this is required


Providing us with further information (RFI)

You must provide additional information before the date listed on your Request for Further Information letter. We will not progress your application until the requested information is received.

If you can't get us the information in time:

If you're unable to send us information before the lapse date listed on the letter, you will need to request an extension, advising how much additional time you will need and explain the reasons for the delay. This request must be made before the RFI lapse date. If we accept your request, we will notify you of the new due date. If we do not accept your request, you will be given 14 days to submit all outstanding information.

If you miss the due date and have not requested an extension, your application will lapse. This means you will have to submit a new planning permit application together with the relevant fee.

Advertising (Public Notice)

We may need to place your application on advertising if there is a chance that the proposal will impact surrounding properties.

Advertising notice may include:

  • Putting a Notice of an Application for a Planning Permit sign on the land, usually for at least 14 days.
  • Sending a letter to surrounding property owners and occupiers.
  • Putting a Notice of an Application for a Planning Permit in the local newspaper.

Council undertakes the Advertising process and will charge fees. Some applications will not require Advertising.


Objections and submissions

When your application is publicly advertised, residents and property owners may view plans attached to your proposal and submit an objection if they feel it may affect them or their property.

A submission can be made at any time before we make a decision and will be considered during our assessment.

If you would like to view plans attached to an application, make a submission or learn more about the process, visit our objecting to a planning application page 

Respond to advertising (public notice)

You will be provided with a copy of any submissions received when the advertising period is finished. This is your opportunity to make changes to the proposal and address any concerns that have been raised.

We may arrange a consultation meeting (Planning application conference) with interested parties. The meeting will provide a forum for parties to discuss the proposal, identify and address any concerns and explore opportunities to improve outcomes for all participants.

You are encouraged to resolve issues before a decision is made. Any objector has the right to appeal Council’s decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).


Amend your application

You can apply to amend a planning permit application at any time before a decision has been by the Responsible Authority.

Your application must include details of your proposed amendment, including changes to plans or documents submitted with your original application and any relevant fee.



Planning officers have authority from Council to consider most planning permit applications. Some types of applications are required to be reported to Council for a decision. This may delay our decision.

There are three types of decisions we can make based on your application.

We can:

  • Issue a Permit (if there are no objections).
  • Issue a Notice of Decision to Grant a Permit (if objections have been received but Council considers that the proposal is acceptable).
  • Refuse to Grant a Permit.

Your planning permit is likely to be subject to conditions. Use and development can only begin and continue if all conditions on the permit are met.

After your permit has been issued, you can apply to amend any plans, conditions, development or use included in your permit. You can also request an extension of time. Visit our Amend or extend a planning permit page for more information.


Appeal a decision

If you disagree with a decision we have made about a planning permit application, you can appeal it with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

The following options are available:

  • If you are the applicant and want to appeal, you must submit an application to VCAT within 60 days of our decision.
  • If you are the objector to the application and want to appeal, you must submit an application to VCAT within 28 days of our decision.

    When VCAT reviews one of our decisions, it will consider the entire application.

Appeals can sometimes be a lengthy process. You will need to wait for a hearing date before the matter can be heard in full by a tribunal member. Depending on the caseload of VCAT at the time, this can sometimes take months.

Any party who has made a submission to an application will be notified of an appeal. Notified parties can make a further submission to the tribunal and decide to attend the hearing. Hearings can vary in length depending on the nature of the case, as well as the number of parties who wish to address the tribunal.

VCAT decisions

When a VCAT hearing ends, VCAT will consider all of the material on file and presented at the hearing. Once a decision is made, a copy of the Tribunal’s order will be sent to all parties by email or mail. This will usually include reasons for the decision.

The Tribunal’s decision is final unless there is an appeal by a party to the Supreme Court on a point of law. If a planning permit is granted, Council must issue that permit in accordance with VCAT's order. We are responsible for making sure the requirements of the permit are met.

Submit plans to be endorsed

When do plans need to be endorsed?

You may need to submit updated plans for endorsement as a condition of a planning permit before a use or development can commence. This can include:

  • Amended development plans (commonly referred to as “Condition 1 Plans”, in reference to the requirements of condition 1 of a Planning Permit.)
  • Landscape plans
  • Tree protection management plans
  • Construction management plans
  • Other management plans for ongoing requirements once a development is complete (such as a bushfire management plan, waste management plan – refer to conditions of your planning permit for further advice)

Check the wording of all planning permit conditions carefully. The conditions will state if need you to take a certain action or submit information.

You must not start building works or the use of the land until Council endorses all plans and documents.

Council will only approve amendments that the planning permit conditions require. If you need to make other changes to your plans, contact Council to discuss how to proceed.

What happens next?

Once we receive plans, your endorsement request will be allocated to a planning officer, who will review the plans. Endorsed plans will either be sent to the applicant, or advice will be provided requiring further changes to be made if plans do not sufficiently respond to conditions of the permit.

If changes to plans have been made beyond the scope of the conditions of the Permit, we may direct you to Amend a planning permit


How long does it take to get a planning permit?

How long it takes to get a planning permit depends on a number of factors including:

  • The type of application you are making (i.e. VicSmart application or standard application);
  • Whether Council needs to ask you for further information to assess your application (request for further information - RFI);
  • Whether any internal or external referrals need to be undertaken (external authorities have 28 days to respond to a referral);
  • Whether your application needs to go on public notice (advertising – if your application requires notice, the PE Act requires it to be a minimum of 14 days);
  • Whether anyone objects to your application (or has a right to object) and whether this can be resolved;
  • Whether you make any changes to the application either before or after public notice;
  • Whether your application has to get decided by a Council officer or by the Council at a Council Meeting (most applications are decided by Council officers);
  • Whether an objector appeals Council's decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT – outside of Council’s control).


Application Type Timeframe as per Planning and Environment Act 1987 Our current average processing times (total days**) 
VicSmart 10 statutory days*
(excluding time for RFI)
 26 days
Standard Application 60 statutory days 
(excluding time for RFI)
 91 days
Section 72 Amendment 60 statutory days
(excluding time for RFI)
 83 days
Secondary Consent 30 calendar days  69 days
Extension of Time 30 calendar days  47 days


*Statutory days is the amount of time taken for Council to process the application excluding the time to request further information and the time it takes you to provide it back to Council. Under the PE Act, the timeframe resets if the application is amended or you provide the further information.

**This is the total calendar days for processing an application that a customer may experience at the moment as opposed to Council’s statutory timeframe. This is updated every month.




Further information or to contact us 

Visit our Planning forms, fees and checklists page for more information on planning permit applications.

For general planning advice, contact our office on 5950 1010 or visit us at our Mornington Office.

A planning officer is available Monday to Friday to assist you.