What’s the difference between a planning permit and a building permit?

The short answer is planning permits are related to the proposed use of the land. So it’s the approval that you need for what you are proposing to use the land for.

And building permits are the approval that you need to undertake the actual construction works and the methods in which you do so.

In many cases, you will require both. If your project requires a planning permit, then you’ll need to get that before you can get your building permit.

Now let me explain each in greater detail, starting with planning permits.

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Planning Permits

planning permits

Planning permits are a legal document that regulates the use and development of land in Victoria in line with the Government planning schemes.

This could be anything from subdividing land to constructing or altering a building to the removal of vegetation or even the displaying of a sign.

It would typically include a set of plans and a written document with specific conditions that need to be met.

When talking about townhouse developments such as dual occupancy projects all applications are made to the relevant local council.

Councils are often referred to as the “Responsible Authority” because it is their job the make a decision on the applications.

Councils refer to the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and their own planning schemes when making decisions.

Once a decision has been made the plans you have submitted will ultimately be “endorsed” by the council and from there the project must then be executed accordingly.

This process ensures compliance with local planning schemes.

Now that you know what a planning permit is let’s look at building permits in some more detail.

Building Permits

difference between a planning permit and building permit

Building permits relate to the method of construction.

They ensure that the building is safe structurally and that it complies with the regulation.

Specifically, that it meets the minimum construction standards outlined in the Building Act 1993 and Building Regulations 2006.

Building permits are documents that certify compliance with the relevant building regulations I just mentioned.

The approval is done by a building surveyor, either private or through the council and it allows for the construction to be undertaken as per the endorsed plans and relevant documentation such as the planning permit conditions.

Not all building works require a building permit but any project of any level of significance will.

Building permits ensure that:

  • A licensed or registered builder is undertaking the work
  • Work will be carried out in line with building legislation
  • Relevant inspections of the works get carried out
  • The completed building will be safe.

Finally, your building permit will state your requirement for either a certificate of occupancy or a certificate of final inspection will be required for the works to be considered complete.

Wrapping Up

To learn more about Little Fish the build process and our development management services don’t hesitate to give us a call on 1300 799 277

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We are property development consultants that specialise in client-side project management for small-medium residential townhouse development projects.