If you're developing or renovating a property that's subject to flooding, you'll probably need a planning permit from your council.
Before issuing a permit, councils must in most cases refer your application to Melbourne Water to ensure your proposal meets our criteria for flood, asset and waterway protection.
Permit processing options
There are two options for processing your planning permit application — the VicSmart process and the regular planning permit process.
VicSmart is a faster process for assessing straightforward town planning applications. If your property is affected by flooding and in a Special Building Overlay, your planning permit application may meet the criteria for VicSmart.
To find out, contact your council’s planning department or check online.
If your application qualifies, you'll need to apply for our consent before lodging your application at council. You can contact Melbourne Water on 131 722 to discuss your proposal.
- Apply for our approval for your VicSmart planning permit application
- VicSmart planning permit applications — Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
If your proposal is not eligible for the VicSmart process, we recommend that you apply online for our pre-development advice. Our written advice will provide you with information that will enable you to amend your design to meet our requirements prior to the formal referral process.
Requirements and guidelines
To get our consent for a planning permit, when your property is affected by flooding, your development proposal must achieve five core flood protection criteria. Of course other factors such as asset or waterway protection may also form part of our response.
Works or structures:
- must not affect floodwater flow capacity
- must not reduce floodwater storage capacity
- must meet minimum floor level height (above flood level) relevant to development location (freeboard)
- must not occur where the depth and flow of floodwaters would create a hazard
- must not occur in circumstances where the depth and flow of floodwater affecting access to the property is hazardous.