What is the difference between a Building Permit and a Planning Permit?

Planning Permits

A Planning Permit is permission for a land use or development and is required if the proposed works or use is included within planning overlays/zones. The Planning Permit often involves referral to other authorities for comment, which may include conditions added to the permit.

It is important to note that building works still require a Building Permit after the Planning Permit has been issued.

Building Permits

Issuing of a Building Permit is the final step in the process to allow the works to commence on site and it contains detailed construction drawings and technical documents to allow the building works to be constructed in accordance with the Building Regulations and associated standards.

It is recommended that a Building Practitioner is consulted if you are proposing to carry out building works. Other than some minor works, all building works require a Building Permit.

Do I Need A Building Permit?

The Building Act requires that a building permit must be issued prior to undertaking building work. A penalty of 500 penalty units for an individual and 2500 penalty units for a company applies for illegal building work undertaken without a permit.

Issuing of a building permit ensures that the building complies with building legislation, including practitioner registration and insurance. It is important that a property owner can provide building permit and inspection details during the sale of a property. Illegal building works can create significant problems during the sale of a property.

Applying for a Building Permit

The Building Permit system was privatised in Victoria in 1994.

Most Building Permits are now issued by private building surveyors. 

To find a building surveyor, Google search “building surveyors” within your area or suburb.

A full list of Building Surveyors can be found at Victorian Building Authority website via the below link.

Select "Building Surveyor - Limited" and "Building Surveyor - Unlimited" under type of work option for a full list of Building Surveyors

Find a surveyor on the Victorian Building Authority website.


If you are undertaking demolition or part demolition of a building, you will require a building permit to carry out this work.

The first step is to check if the property is protected under the Heritage Register and obtain consent to demolish by submitting a 29A Application Form.

You can apply online by completing the Consent to Demolish Sect 29A online application form located under 'Building Council Dispensations & Consents'. Alternatively, you can complete and mail the Icon for application/pdf 29A Application Form (296.08 KB)


Some minor building work is exempt from requiring a building permit or occupancy permit and it is recommended that you obtain the advice of a Building Practitioner if you are seeking a building permit exemption.

To be exempt, the property owner must be able to demonstrate full compliance with the building regulations.

More information:


If you are intending to construct a shed please be aware that most sheds will require a building permit.

Find out more information from the VBA - Sheds and Garages.

Building in Unsewered Areas

If your property is within an unsewered area, please call Council's Health and Local Laws team on 9840 9333 to ensure your building design does not interfere with the operation of the existing septic tank and effluent disposal system.

A septic tank permit or consent is required prior to the building permit being issued.