VicSmart planning permit process

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Exposed Tubing and Wooden Beams

VicSmart is a state-wide planning permit process that allows Councils to assess and decide on some minor planning applications more quickly.

Two permit processes now apply in Victoria – the VicSmart planning permit process and the regular planning permit process.

Key features of the VicSmart permit process are:

  • Simplified application processing

  • No advertising of applications

  • Application information to be submitted and considered is pre-set

  • Decisions on applications mostly within 10 business days

Which applications can go through the VicSmart permit process

To be classed as a VicSmart application your proposal must meet certain requirements, such as being located in the specified zone or overlay. If written consent is required from a referral authority under the planning scheme, you must obtain this consent first and lodge it with your application.

The types of work that can be considered under the VicSmart process include:

  • Minor subdivision, buildings and works, tree removal and lopping, small advertising signs and car parking waivers.

Where a proposal falls into more than one class of VicSmart application the requirements of each class need to be met.

If an application does not fall in to one of the classes, or includes other works outside the classes, it would be assessed and considered under the regular permit process.

External alterations to buildings in a heritage overlay

To be assessed as a VicSmart application under this category will depend on whether the building being altered is considered ‘contributory’. A building is contributory if it contributes to the significance of a heritage precinct and has been given this status in a heritage study. More recent heritage studies that have reliably identified contributory buildings include:

Older studies such as the Eaglehawk & Bendigo Heritage Study of 1993 may not accurately identify all contributory buildings. If your property is included in any of these areas and was constructed prior to 1960 it will be considered to be contributory and will be assessed under the regular planning permit process.

The VicSmart application process

The application process has 5 steps:

Step 1 – Discuss your proposal with a Council planning officer to confirm that your proposal qualifies as a VicSmart application and prepare the required information.

Step 2 - Submit the application with fee

The fee must be paid when the application is submitted. Review the relevant checklist below to ensure you have all the required information. If you fail to provide all of the information needed, your application will be returned to you.

Step 3 – Respond to requests for further Information

The Council can make a formal request for further information about your application or changes to the proposal can be made within 5 business days. The VicSmart application will lapse if the information is not submitted by the date specified.  

Step 4 - Assess the application

A Planning officer assesses the application against the VicSmart decision guidelines and local planning policy, where relevant.

Step 5 - Decide the application

Once the Planner has undertaken the assessment, a decision will be made to either issue a Planning Permit or Refuse to Grant a Planning Permit.

Information that MUST be submitted with a VicSmart application includes:

  • A completed and signed application for a planning permit form

  • Application fee as shown on the relevant checklist (see list below)

  • A current copy (within 3 months) of the property title including the covering 'register search statement', the title diagram and the associated title documents known as 'instruments', for example, restrictive covenants

  • All the information requirements, as set out in Clause 93 of the Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme and summarised in the VicSmart checklists (below)

Can I appeal the decision to VCAT?

Under VicSmart, an applicant can apply for a review at VCAT for:

  • Failure to grant a permit within the prescribed time (10 business days)

  • Application refusal

  • Conditions in a permit

  • Refusal to extend the permit

VicSmart applications are exempt from third-party review rights.  

For more information about the review process go to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website: VicSmart – a simpler planning permit process.

Checklists for VicSmart applications


Lodging your application

City of Greater Bendigo
15 Hopetoun St, Bendigo 3550
PO Box 733, Bendigo 3552


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For more information about planning services please contact us on 03 5434 6355

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