Planning compliance

Council as the responsible authority is required by law to administer and enforce the Port Phillip Planning Scheme (the Scheme), planning permits (permits) and s173 agreements established under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (the Act).

Any person who uses or develops land in contravention of, or fails to comply with, a planning scheme or a planning permit or an agreement under section 173 of the Act is guilty of an offence.

Why is enforcement important?

The Victorian Planning Provisions are in place to control land use and development to ensure that decisions that change the environment and affect everyday life are managed effectively. The Scheme is developed to ensure the protection of the existing urban character and amenity of the City of Port Phillip.

As with any other law, the Act and subordinate legislation is only effective if their requirements are complied with and enforced. Enforcement is necessary to prevent planning breaches, stop existing breaches, and punish breaches if required.

What breaches does Council investigate?

The Scheme regulates land use and development within the municipality. A planning permit is triggered under the Scheme relative to the zone and overlays applying to land.

Council may investigate identified breaches of the Scheme and permits under the following circumstances:

  • Works without a permit: Buildings and works carried out without a required planning permit.
  • Non-compliance with an approved permit: Works carried out in contravention of endorsed plans, and non-compliance with any conditions that form part of the permit approval.
  • Illegal land use: Changing a permitted land use without permit approval, and/or using land in contravention of the Scheme and/or an existing permit applying to the land.

What enforcement action may be taken?

Depending on the severity of a breach and level of cooperation demonstrated by the alleged offender Council may do one or more of the following:

  • Negotiate compliance: Enter into negotiations with the alleged offender to bring land into compliance.
  • Official warning: Issue an official warning under the Infringements Act 2006.
  • Planning Infringement Notice: Issue an infringement notice, requiring the alleged offender to pay a prescribed penalty amount and carry out remedial action.
  • Enforcement Order: Make an application to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to achieve compliance.
  • Interim enforcement order: Make an application to VCAT where there is a need for immediate action.
  • Prosecution: Commence prosecution proceedings in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

Make a request

To make a planning compliance request:

  1. Visit My Port Phillip
  2. Select 'Log a request'
  3. Under What Is Your Request In Relation To? Select 'Planning, Building and Construction'
  4. Select the correct category for the compliance issue request.

Our fact sheet provides common examples of compliance issues that can help with your request.

Apply for an infringement review

Complete the form to apply for an internal review of a planning compliance infringement.

Help and support

Online: My Port Phillip online services
Phone: 03 9209 6293
In person: visit the Planning & Building Counter at St Kilda Town Hall during opening hours (8:30 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday)