Planning permission

Planning permission 2017-06-01T13:06:11+10:00

A hospitality business’s first brush with the local council. A planning permit is a legal document that gives permission for a certain use or development on a particular piece of land. It’s not always needed – the zoning might permit a restaurant anyway.

The first person to call should be the planning department of your local council.

Whites Legal specialises in planning law issues for hospitality businesses, including:

  • Planning permit applications
  • Existing use rights
  • Advertising signs
  • Cancellation of permits
  • Enforcement orders
  • Heritage overlay matters
  • VCAT appeals

What’s in a planning permit?

For hospitality businesses, a planning permit will usually address:

  • That the land can be used for a ‘food and drink premises’, restaurant, bar, cafe, etc
  • Trading hours or hours of operation
  • Delivery times
  • Maximum number of people
  • Maximum and minimum seating
  • Car parking
  • Amenity of the area
  • Noise, including music
  • Garbage storage and disposal
  • Advertising signs

It will not address building, renovation and refits. Depending on the kind of work, you’ll need a building permit. Speak to your local council.


  • “Use” versus “development”
    • Development is a change of what sits on the land
    • Use is how the property gets used
  • People working for the local council are there to help. Honestly.
  • When using Planning Maps Online, ¬†just enter the street number, street name and suburb. It’ll find you.
  • Considering footpath dining or kerbside trading? You often need a kerbside trading permit. Contact the local laws department of your local council, rather than the planning department.
  • Need to get planning permission or a variation? Go on a charm offensive and speak to local residents.

Let’s get you started

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Call us on 1300 797 512