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. A planning permit often involves referral to other authorities for comment, which may mean that conditions are added to the permit.

It is important to note that building works will still require a building permit after a planning permit has been issued.

Building Permits

Issuing a building permit is the final step in the process to allow the works to commence on site. Building permits contain detailed construction drawings and technical documents so the building works can be constructed in accordance with the building regulations and associated standards.

We recommend that a building practitioner is consulted if you are proposing to do building works on your property. Other than some minor works, all building works require a building permit.

When you obtain a Building Permit, you will also require an Asset Protection Permit prior to any works commencing. The permit requires the placement of a security bond for the duration of the building or demolition works. Download the Icon for application/pdf Asset Protection Application (626.43 KB) or visit the Asset Protection page for more information.

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.

Building permits ensure that the building complies with building legislation, including practitioner registration and insurance. It's 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.

Are there exemptions?

Some minor building work does not need a building permit or occupancy permit, we suggest getting 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.

You can find out more information by visiting Victorian Building Authority - Planning and Building Permits or by reading the Icon for application/pdf VBA Practice Note BP-01 2021 When is a building permit required (223.83 KB)VBA Practice Note BP-01 2021 When is a building permit required (223.83 KB)(223.83 KB) regarding permits and exemptions.

Apply for a building permit

Most building permits are now issued by private building surveyors. You can find a building surveyor by searching online or by visiting the Victorian Building Authority


You will need a building permit if you are demolishing all or part of a building.

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 for Consent to Demolish Section 29A online or you can download and mail the Icon for application/pdf 29A Application Form (294.04 KB)


Building a shed will normally require a building permit. You can find out more by visiting Victorian Building Authority - Planning and Building Permits.

Building in unsewered areas

If your property is within an unsewered area, please call our Health and Local Laws team on 9840 9333 to make sure your building design does not interfere with an existing septic tank and effluent disposal system.

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

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