Frequently asked questions
Planning regulates what you can or cannot do on your land, depending on the applicable zones and overlays under the Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme. Its role is to ensure the land is well managed, taking in to account the needs of the community and the environment.
Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme
A planning scheme sets out policies and requirements for the use, development and protection of land. All land within Victoria is covered by local council planning schemes. Planning schemes are administered by the relevant council, but governed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning. Any changes to the planning scheme must be approved by the Minister for Planning.
The planning scheme will indicate if a planning permit is required to construct a building, carry out works or make other changes to the land.
Go to the Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme online.
Zones and overlays
A zone is a planning control that determines the appropriate use of the land. Every parcel of land is located in a zone. The Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme zones land for different uses such as residential, business, industrial, farming, rural living and rural conservation, as well as public and special use.
An overlay is a planning control indicating that the land has some special feature, such as a heritage building, or is of environmental significance and affects how land can be developed. Not every property has an overlay.
An explanation of all zones and overlays can be found in the Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme online.
Finding out the zone of your property
You can find out the zone of your property through Community Compass. Just type the address in the search bar. You can see which planning zones and overlays affect your property and link to a free planning property report. This report has more detail about the zone and overlay, including the planning scheme extract which explains what your zone and overlays mean.
Planning permits – do I need one?
Once you've found the zones and overlays for your property, you can get an idea of whether your proposed development needs a planning permit.
Some examples of what a permit may be required for include:
- Changing the use of your land, eg. from a retail shop to an office
- Commercial and industrial developments
- Displaying signage
- Removal of native vegetation
- Extension to a dwelling in a heritage overlay area
- Construction of a dwelling in a bushfire management overlay area
- Liquor licences
- Subdivision of land
Please contact the Planning Department on 03 5434 6355 for further assistance or clarification. Applying for a planning permit is not a guarantee that a planning permit will be granted.
Running a business from home
If you want to run a business from home, you may not need planning permission if you meet certain requirements. Read more about Home Based Business and the regulations.
Bushfire Management Overlay
The Bushfire Management Overlay replaced the previous Wildfire Management Overlay and introduced more stringent bushfire protection measures for new developments. To find out if the Bushfire Management Overlay affects your property and what this means for you, visit the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning website.
Land titles and how to get a current copy
A title identifies a definite parcel of land, ownership of land, restrictions and any interests in the land, such as covenants or caveats. A Certificate of Title is prepared and issued by the Registrar of Titles to the owner of the land.
A full current copy of title, including any covenants, must be provided with any application for a planning permit to ascertain the correct parcel of land, the correct ownership and whether any restrictions apply to the land.
Council does not hold copies of title. To obtain a copy, you can search online through LANDATA or contact the Titles Office on 03 8636 2464 for more information. Search fees apply.
Changing a planning permit after it is approved
An application can be made to amend the plans that were endorsed with a planning permit. It is also possible to amend the conditions or description of the planning permit. Go to Apply to Change or Extend a Planning Permit.
Extending the expiry date of a planning permit
A planning certificate is usually required by a vendor's solicitor as part of the sale process and provides details of:
- The planning scheme affecting a property
- The zoning of a property
- Any overlay controls affecting the property
- Any proposed planning scheme amendments that may affect the land
The responsible authority for issuing planning certificates in Greater Bendigo is the Minister for Planning.
All applications for City of Greater Bendigo planning certificates must be lodged with LANDATA, the current supplier of planning certificates on behalf of the Minister for Planning. Your order will be processed and returned to you electronically. Please see the LANDATA website for current fees.