Whitehorse City Council

FAQs About Planning

 
> What is the zoning of my property and are there any other restrictions on the land?
> How do I obtain a copy of the title for my property?
> What is a Section 173 Agreement?
> How many units/dwellings can I build on my residential land?
> Can I subdivide my residential land without building units/dwellings first?
> Do I need a Planning Permit to run a business from home?
> Do I need a Planning Permit to run my business from a commercial or industrial property?
> What if I have a general enquiry, requiring a written response?
> What do I need to do to obtain a copy of an existing planning permit or an endorsed plan?
> Do I need a planning permit to remove or prune a tree?
> When I am subdividing my land do I need to pay a Public Open Space Contribution?
> Do I need a Planning Permit to install a Satellite Dish?
> What is a landscape plan?

What is the zoning of my property and are there any other restrictions on the land?

To determine the zoning of the land and whether any planning overlays exist, you can enquire on the Department of Sustainability and Environment website at www.dse.vic.gov.au. For a fee, a zoning certificate can be obtained.
Zoning maps may be viewed at the Planning Counter, Civic Centre, Nunawading during business hours.

You will need to check a current copy of title of the land to ensure there are no restrictive covenants or any agreements or any other restrictions. These may be obtained on line at www.land.vic.gov.au


How do I obtain a copy of the title for my property?

This can be obtained from www.land.vic.gov.au or in person at Level 9, 570 Bourke Street, Melbourne, 3000, telephone 8636 2010. A fee will be required.


What is a Section 173 Agreement?

This is an Agreement entered into between the owner of the land and Council which, when lodged with the titles office, forms part of a land title. The most common S173 Agreement entered into requires development of the land to comply with an approved development permit.


How many units/dwellings can I build on my residential land?

Issues which will affect the suitability of your residential land for multi-unit development are:

  • Whether any Planning Overlays exist
  • The size, location of the land
  • Any title restrictions, easements, covenants or agreements
  • How the proposal responds to the site and the surrounding neighbours
  • Whether the proposal meets the objectives of Clause 55 of the Whitehorse Planning Scheme and other relevant Council policies.

It is recommended that you contact an architect, draftsperson or planning consultant familiar with making planning applications and come up with a preliminary design. This design can be submitted to the Planning Department who will contact you to make an appointment for a pre-application meeting with a planning officer.

For more information, please refer to pdf icon  Planning Application for Two or More Dwellings On a Lot (84.38kB).

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Can I subdivide my residential land without building units/dwellings first?

This is not the preferred option. The reasons being that you will still need to make a Planning Permit application which will require notification to neighbouring property owners/occupiers and they may object on the basis of not knowing what will be constructed on the site.

Also, as Council does not know what will be built it is difficult to assess whether the subdivision is appropriate or workable. This may result in tight restrictions being placed on the title or in a refusal of the application. However, some larger sites may be suitable for vacant land subdivision.

For further information, read pdf icon  General information concerning two or more dwellings on a lot (55.29kB).


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Do I need a planning permit to run a business from home?

Some businesses may be conducted from your private place of residence without Planning approval. However, the Whitehorse Planning Scheme has a number of requirements which need to be met. See Clause 52.11 of the Whitehorse Planning Scheme. Furthermore, if any signage is to be erected, a Planning Permit may be required. (Please refer to the requirements of clause 22.02 – Visual Amenity and Advertising Signs and Clause 52.05 Advertising signs – see Category 3).

pdf icon Property information request for home occupation (50.04kB)
 

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Do I need a planning permit to run my business from a commercial or industrial property?

This will depend on the zoning of the land and the requirements of the Whitehorse Planning Scheme. Most buildings and works will require planning approval, while different land uses have varying requirements.

You can check or ask for professional advice by contacting the Planning Department on 9262 6303 for further information or make a written request.


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What if I have a general enquiry, requiring a written response?

A letter should be addressed to the Planning Department, Whitehorse City Council, Locked Bag 2, Nunawading Delivery Centre 3110 clearly outlining your request, giving your contact details, in some instances plans may also need to be provided.

A fee is required and must be submitted with the letter of request by cheque, payment in person at the Nunawading Civic Centre or via a credit card payment request form that can be obtained and emailed to Council.

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What do I need to do to obtain a copy of an existing planning permit or an endorsed plan?

A letter should be addressed to the Planning Department, City of Whitehorse, Locked Bag 2, Nunawading Delivery Centre 3110 clearly outlining your request, providing address details and Planning Permit numbers if known. A fee is required and must be submitted with the letter of request by cheque, payment in person at the Nunawading Civic Centre or via a credit card payment request form that can be obtained and faxed to Council.


If further permits or a large search of a number of property files is necessary then further fees apply.

Copying of endorsed plans will also incur a copying charge.


pdf icon Planning Information Request for copy of Planning Permit and Endorsed Plans (47.35kB)


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Do I need a planning permit to remove or prune a tree?

On residential properties it needs to be determined if there are any specific site controls pertaining to trees under the Whitehorse Planning Scheme.

If the property is within a Significant Landscape Overlay or Vegetation Protection Overlay, a Planning Permit may be required for tree removal and/or lopping. The current title of the land must also be checked to make sure there are no Section 173 Agreements with tree protection controls.

If there is a pending Planning application on the site or an application proposed to be submitted to Council within the next 12 months, trees should not be removed from the site until a final decision has been made on the application allowing the removal and/or pruning of specified trees.

On sites of greater than 4000m2 a planning approval is required under the Whitehorse Planning Scheme for removal of native trees (some exemptions apply).

On commercial land it needs to be determined whether there are any existing Planning Permits which provide tree protection on the site. The site also needs to be checked as to whether there are any Overlays under the Whitehorse Planning Scheme, because if the property is within a Significant Landscape Overlay or Vegetation Protection Overlay, a Planning Permit may be required for tree removal and/or lopping.

Please contact the Planning Department on 9262 6303 to check whether any tree controls exist on your property or see the Whitehorse Planning Scheme to check the zoning and whether any overlays exist on your property.

pdf icon Planning Application for Tree Removal Vegetation Protection Overlay (46.46kB)
pdf icon Planning Application for Tree Removal in Significant Landscape Overlay (47.70kB)
pdf icon Property Information Request Significant Landscape Overlay (45.82kB)

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When I am subdividing my land do I need to pay a Public Open Space Contribution?

Under the Whitehorse Planning Scheme, there is a requirement for a Public Open Space contribution which is determined as follows:

 

Type or location of subdivision

Amount of contribution for public open space

The subdivision of land on a strategic site (as defined by the Whitehorse Open Space Strategy or Council or State Government)Minimum 4%
All other land4%


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Do I need a Planning Permit to install a Satellite Dish?

If you are wishing to install a Satellite Dish on a residential property and/or a site with a Heritage Overlay under the Whitehorse Planning Scheme:

  • You can install a dish with a diameter of up to 1.2m without planning permission from Council.
  • A dish with a diameter between 1.2m and 2.4m can also be installed without any planning permission from Council, provided that the dish is not visible from outside the property or is not attached to a structure or building protected by a Heritage Overlay.
  • A planning permit is required before installation for any dish that does not comply with the above requirements.

pdf icon  Planning Application for Satellite Dish (70.11kB)


What is a landscape plan?

Thepdf icon  Whitehorse Landscape Guidelines (14.72MB)  have been developed to encourage well designed and sustainable landscapes across the City of Whitehorse.

The guidelines identify when a landscape concept plan is required and outlines the type and amount of information to be included on the plan, this will assist with the efficient processing of planning permit applications.

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