Get our consent for a council planning permit

If you're developing or renovating a property subject to flooding, you're likely to need a planning permit from your local council.

Before issuing a planning permit, your council may need our formal consent that you’re complying with our standard conditions for drainage services and waterways protection.

Other conditions may need to be met before we consent, for example, if you’re building near easements or our assets – such as pipelines and waterways.

What to do

Firstly, contact the planning department of your local council to determine whether your development is eligible to go through the ‘VicSmart’ process. You can also check for yourself online (although it’s also worth confirming directly with council).

VicSmart is a simpler process than the regular planning permit process. It’s for straightforward applications and has pre-set requirements and decision guidelines and takes 10 days for council to make a decision. However, it’s only applicable if your property is in a Special Building Overlay (SBO).

If your proposal is eligible for the VicSmart process:

  1. Call our Customer and Planning Services Team on 131 722 to discuss your situation.
  2. Download our VicSmart application form, complete it and email your form to together with a full set of plans.
  3. We'll respond to your application within 28 days with either our:
    • Consent to a permit being issued
    • Consent to a permit being issued under specified conditions
    • Objection to the application
  4. You then lodge your application with your council who will issue a decision within 10 days.

For more detail on this process: download the VicSmart application form

If your proposal is not eligible for the VicSmart process

If your proposal is not eligible for the VicSmart process, it’s likely that it’s more complex and involves overlays other than the Special Building Overlay (SBO).

We therefore recommend you download and complete our request for pre-development advice. Once received, we’ll contact you to talk through your proposal and what you need to do.

Requirements and guidelines

To get our consent for a planning permit, your development must pass these five core requirements that we use to assess applications:

Works or structures:

  1. must not affect floodwater flow capacity
  2. must not reduce floodwater storage capacity
  3. must meet minimum floor level height (above flood level) relevant to development location (freeboard)
  4. must not occur where the depth and flow of floodwaters would create a hazard
  5. must not occur in circumstances where the depth and flow of floodwater affecting access to the property is hazardous.

Read our Guidelines for Development in Flood Prone Areas for more information 

Contact us

If you need any help to complete this task, contact us on 131 722.

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