Understanding Planning Permit, Zoning & Approvals For Your Business

31 May, 2022

For some business owners, the thought of having to submit planning permits or approvals can seem like a daunting prospect; for others, the lack of understanding on how the process works can put them off.

Planning permits are not just for large-scale buildings or office developments, and carrying out certain works without formal permission can be costly and risky for a business. In this article, we’ll cover the planning permits and approvals as well as zoning considerations you need to keep in mind when it comes to your commercial property.

Planning Permits

In situations like starting a new branch of your business or changing a property from residential to business use, a planning permit is very likely required. When reviewing a new business plan, it is important to factor in the time taken to submit the right planning permit. This legal document sets out in writing the conditions to be met along with any documented plans that confirm exactly what can or cannot be allowed on a piece of land.

Planning permits will need to be submitted to the relevant council planning department, outlining exactly what use the land and/or property is going to be put to once trading commences. If the business starts trading without the proper permissions, the council can issue a fine or impose penalties.

There are also business registrations and permits which give one the licence to operate, depending on which sector a business falls under. Even when taking over a leased property, it is important to understand the conditions under which a company can trade. Working with planning application consultants can make this process much easier, helping business owners to be aware of all the relevant trading and planning permits to take into consideration.

Planning Approvals

Town planning consultants are the people that a business owner can consult with if looking to make changes to the office, production facility, or warehouse of a company. From adding on a new extension to turning land into a space for commercial purposes, a town planner can support a business through every stage of the planning approval process. Changing the nature of a piece of land or building needs approval as the council must take into consideration several factors.

Most business owners are not familiar with state and local policy frameworks and using a specialist to provide apt advice, identify any obstacles, and complete and submit the relevant documentation can save time and money in the long run.

Drawing up the right plans and consulting with local planners as well as undertaking preparation work for a planning committee is where planning consultants can further assist a business. The majority of approvals will go to the local council planning committee, and in a few instances a plan will need to be submitted to the Minister for Planning. The Minister has powers of intervention, particularly for instance when it comes to heritage sites. If a planning approval gets rejected, then there is an appeals process known as the VCAT. Town planning consultants can provide support at these tribunal meetings, as well as manage and advocate to achieve favourable results for a business.



All land in Victoria is divided into areas called zones. These zones determine what land can and can’t be used for and each zone has a set of regulations. For the purposes of completing certain applications, it is important to know what zone (and overlay if applicable) you are in. This can be found out by contacting your local council.

Zones are one of the elements of a planning scheme that can determine whether a planning permit is required and what information must be submitted with a planning permit application. The zone also contains information relating to land uses, subdivision of land, construction of new buildings, and other changes to the land that may require consideration. Drawing on the knowledge of an expert on urban planning services will allow business owners to be aware of the relevant zones and considerations.

Speak To Us At Barker Monahan

For further expert advice on planning permits, zoning, and approvals for your business, contact Barker Monahan to ensure your project is effectively planned, approved, and carried out. With decades of experience and skilled expertise, our renowned town planning consultants in Melbourne will guide and assist you and your business every step of the way.

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