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There are a number of steps in the planning permit application process both before and after lodging the application:

Actions by applicant:
Step 1 – Applicant collates the information as detailed below.

Application requirements can vary depending on the nature of the development proposed. In general, the following information is required:

  • A completed Planning Permit Application Form.
  • An application fee.
  • A current copy of Certificate of Title for the subject land – less than 3 months old, including full information of any covenants or restriction on the title.
  • A covering letter or, for more complex proposals, a report detailing the proposal and how it complies with the Horsham Planning Scheme.
  • Three (3) copies of proposed plans and supporting documentation as required in Council’s Planning Permit checklists.
  • Photographs of the site are also useful.

Step 2 – Preliminary design and preparation of plans.
Your designer, builder, architect etc can help you formulate preliminary plans and ideas.

Step 3 – Pre-application discussions with Council (highly recommended, but not compulsory)

Pre-Application Meeting
Prior to lodging a planning application, applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-application meeting with a Town Planner. This meeting is to obtain preliminary advice on the proposal and to confirm the information required to be provided with the application. Please note that these discussions are indicative only and do not represent formal approval.

The more information that you have at the meeting the easier it is for the planner to provide feedback. Preliminary designs/sketches, photos and examples of the type of development that you are looking at is also very helpful in these instances. Pre-application meetings can also be scheduled onsite if required. To arrange a pre-application meeting contact Councils Planning Section on 5382 9798.  

Please ensure you provide the property address and a brief description of what you will be proposing.

Step 4 – Lodgement of Planning Permit application with Council

Completed Planning Permit Applications can be lodged by mail or in person.

Actions by Council:

Step 5 – Application is allocated to a Planning Officer – you will receive a letter advising you which planner your application has been allocated to and the applications reference number.

Step 6 – Preliminary assessment. The allocated planner then begins the first stage of assessing the application to determine what the next step/s are.

(Step 7, 8 & 9 are not always required with every application, depending on what the application is for. If they are not required the application can jump straight to Step 10 – Consideration of the Application).

Step 7 – Request for further information (if required). If the required information is not provided with a planning permit application Council cannot consider or decide on the application – this can sometimes cause the planning process to take longer. To avoid this ensure that you follow the checklist provided or contact the Planning Support Team.

Step 8 – Formal notification/advertising (if required)

Once all information is received, the Planning Office determines whether the application is required to be formally advertised. Under Section 52 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, applications are advertised where a proposal may cause detriment to another party. If the application is advertised, one or all of the following methods is used, depending on the proposal:

  • Notice of Planning Permit application mailed directly to owners/occupiers of adjoining properties.
  • Notice of Planning Permit application in the local newspaper.
  • Notice of Planning Permit application on a sign displayed for the 14 days on the subject site.

If the application requires notification a letter will be sent to the applicant advising what kind of advertising is going to be undertaken, what if any your tasks are and advises payment requirements for the advertising costs.

Council prepares and sends all of the notices to the affected parties and a copy of your application is made available for public viewing at the Civic Centre. The formal period of advertising is 14 days. Your application is on hold for these 14 days. If no objections are received then assessment of the application can continue - See Step 10. If objections or submissions are received – See Step 9.

Step 9 – If an objection is received in relation to the proposal a copy of the objection will be sent to the applicant. The applicant is given an opportunity to formally respond to the issues raised in the objection. Often, applicants choose to make changes to the application at this time. Council planning staff can also assist the applicant in deciding on the appropriate course of action to be taken at this point.

If the matters raised warrant, a consultation/information meeting between the affected parties and council may be arranged. A consultation meeting gives all parties the opportunity to discuss the application.

Step 10 – Consideration of the application (Planning officers assess the application against the required Acts and legislation including the Horsham Planning Scheme, Council policies and information received).

Step 11 – Decision on the application. Council can make three kinds of decisions:

  1. Issue a Planning Permit
  2. Issue a Notice of Decision to Grant a Planning Permit or
  3. Issue a Refusal to Grant a Planning Permit

The above instructions can be downloaded as a pdf file here.

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