Extending or altering your dwelling

What is considered an extension, addition or alteration?

An extension is an addition or increase in the floor area of an existing dwelling, for example adding an additional storey or ground floor room. An addition can also include external dwelling additions such as a decking, pergola, patio or veranda.

An alteration can involve internal or external changes to an existing dwelling without an increase in the floor area, for example changing the materials of any walls or altering windows or doors.
Internal rearrangements which do not increase the overall floor area, building size or number of dwellings generally do not need a planning permit.

Do I need a permit to alter or extend a building?

 You will require a planning permit if your land is in the:  

  • General Residential Zone and less than 300sqm in area
  • Residential Growth Zone and less than 300sqm in area
  • Low Density Residential Zone
  • Mixed Use Zone and less than 300sqm in area
  • Rural Conservation Zone
  • Green Wedge Zone. 

You may require a planning permit if your land is:

  • affected by any overlays
  • has an existing planning permit
  • there is more than one dwelling on the land.

You can find out if a zone or overlay applies to your land on the VicPlan website.

Domestic services such as access ramps, sky lights, shade sales, air conditioning and security systems generally don't need a planning permit unless the land is affected by a Heritage Overlay.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with our Statutory Planning department.

What applications fees apply to this type of permit?

The cost of the application depends on the type of permit you need. See our fee schedule for more information.

What are building setback requirements and regulations which might affect my application?

Your architect, draftsperson or building surveyor will be able to advise you of any setback requirements or regulations when designing your extension or alteration.

Some zones such as the Low Density Residential and Rural Conservation Zones will have boundary setback requirements for buildings. Some overlays such as the Design and Development Overlay (DDO) may also have requirements.

Visit the VicPlan website to find out if your land is affected by a zone or overlay.

Does my application qualify for VicSmart?

Your application must meet set criteria to be considered under the VicSmart streamlined process.

The following application types can be assessed as VicSmart, as long as the application meets all the criteria and the proposal is located in the specified zone or overlay:

  • remove, destroy or lop one tree
  • construct a building or carry out minor buildings and works in an overlay
  • construct a building or carry out minor buildings and works in a zone
  • signage in a commercial or industrial zone
  • car parking reduction or waiver
  • extend one dwelling on a lot in a residential zone
  • construct or extend a front fence in a residential zone.

Please get in touch with our Planning Department if you are unsure if your application qualifies for VicSmart.

How much does it cost to apply for a permit?

See our fee schedule for more information.