Planning & Subdivision Information

Please find information and forms about Planning and Subdivisions. For further information regarding any of the information listed below, please contact 03 6352 6500 and ask for the relevant officer.


One of Dorset Council's core activities is to regulate the use and development of the land in its municipal area.

The Planning Approval process regulates 'use' and 'development' of land by assessing proposals against Council's Planning Scheme and the State's planning legislation. It particularly examines the impact of the proposed development or use on the surrounding area.

When do I need to get a Planning Permit?

You usually need to get a Planning Permit (also commonly called Planning Approval or a Development Permit) from your local Council whenever you want to:

The Council Planning Scheme details the types of use and development that require planning approval and what are exempt.

You should always contact the council to find out whether you need planning approval for any use or development you might be considering. Council will also give you advice on the information you will need to provide.

For further information contact Dorset Council's Town Planner on (03) 6352 6500.

How do I apply for a Planning Permit?

To apply for a Planning Permit (also commonly referred to as a Development Application (DA) or as an application for a Development Permit, Planning Approval or Development Approval) you must lodge an application with your local council. An application form needs to be filled in and submitted with plans indicating what the proposal is about and a copy of the title. Most councils (but not all) require payment of planning fees at the time of lodgement.

Dorset Council requires planning fees to be paid at the time of lodging the application.

It is also very wise to talk to your neighbours and inform them of what you are proposing, especially if the proposal will need to be advertised. Most neighbours appreciate the courtesy of being informed and it provides an opportunity to become aware of potential problems and perhaps sort them out before you are committed to a particular design.

If your application is straightforward and, for example, involves a change of use with little structural alterations to the building, you may not need professional assistance. In many cases though, it is wise to get professional assistance with the application, especially where detailed drawings and/or site analysis is needed.

Planning Permit Application Form

Planning Permit (Sign) Application Form

Planning Assessment Fees

What do I need to include in the Planning Application? 

When lodging an application you usually need to submit:

The submitted plans usually need to include the following details;

Other details may be required depending on the Planning Scheme For commercial and industrial uses, additional information is likely to be required such as:

If you need assistance with completing your application, contact Council's Planning Department on (03) 6352 6500.

How is the Planning Application processed?

Once a planning application is received it must be assessed against the council planning scheme requirements and for compliance with the provisions of relevant State Policies.  Council Officers will review the application and further information will be requested if required.

If the proposed development had to be advertised, council must consider any representations received within the stipulated 14 day public exhibition period.

Once all of the assessments are completed the council planning officer writes a report. A decision is then made either by a senior officer or council committee, (if they have the delegated authority to do so) or by the council.

Dorset Council's Town Planner has delegation for both permitted and discretionary planning applications.

How long does it take for the Council to process the application?

Legislation requires councils to process a planning application within a maximum of 42 days but many applications take less time to process.

Processing times vary depending on:

Two types of application exist. A 'permitted' application or a 'discretionary' application.

 'Permitted' applications

Section 58(2) of The Land Use Planning and Approvals Act (LUPAA), requires a council to grant a permit, with or without conditions, on any permitted application within 28 days of the application being received by the council.

This time frame can be extended by a written agreement between the applicant and the council. This agreement must occur before the 28 days is up.

'Permitted application' means any proposed development or use that complies with the provisions of the planning scheme and thus under Section 51 of LUPAA must be granted a permit, with or without conditions.

A permitted aplication does not need to be advertised, thus no third party appeal rights exist. The applicant must be informed of council's decision within 7 days of the permit being granted. The applicant may appeal any condition of the permit.

'Discretionary' Applications

Section 57(1) of LUPAA requires the council to make a decision on a discretionary application within 42 days of receiving it. In that time, council must advertise the application and allow 14 days for representations to be received.

Council must consider those representations and decide to either refuse the application, approve it or approve it subject to conditions. The council may extend the 42 day time period with the approval of the applicant.

Statutory rule number 262 of the Land Use Planning and Approvals Regulations 1993 requires a discretionary application to be advertised by:

The applicant may appeal the decision and anybody who has made representations may also appeal the decision to the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal (RMPAT).

Many applications are decided in less than 42 days, especially if they are straightforward applications and all of the necessary information has been provided at the beginning.

Additional Information

Under Section 54(1) of The Land Use Planning and Approvals Act (LUPAA), the council can request further information from the applicant. This must be a written request and must be served on the applicant within 21 days of the council receiving the application. The 42 day time period does not begin again until the additional information is received and is to council's satisfaction.

Where all the necessary information has been provided and the council has failed to determine the application within the 42 day period, then, under Section 59(1) of LUPAA a deemed approval is considered to have been issued. The applicant must appeal to the Resource Management and Planning Appeals Tribunal (RMPAT) (commonly referred to as the Tribunal) for an order determining the conditions (if any) on which the permit is granted.

Even though the application has not been considered within the 42 day period, the council may still make a decision on the application at any time before the applicant applies to the Tribunal for an order determining conditions.

The Tribunal may grant the permit unconditionally or with conditions. In the case of a discretionary use application the Tribunal also has the power to refuse the permit.

How do I find out about the Planning Application?

Council is required under Section 57(1) of The Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 (LUPAA) to advertise any discretionary applications it receives, for a period of 14 days. Under statutory rule number 262 of the Land Use Planning and Approvals Regulations 1993, a discretionary application is required to be advertised by:

These applications must put in a place which is open to inspection by the public. They are usually placed in a public area near the Council Reception section of the council offices. Persons have 14 days to make representations to Council on the application.

Permitted applications do not need to be advertised as there are no appeal rights in relation to them.

How can I object to a Planning Application?

You can only object to a planning application if it is a 'discretionary application'.

This means it must be advertised and persons have 14 days from the day of the advertisement to lodge an objection with Council. This must be done in writing and should state the reasons why you object to the application.  Representations via email are also accepted, but must provided a valid return email address, telephone contact number and also a postal address.

Will I be notified if there is a development next door?

If the application is a 'discretionary application' you will be notified. Under Section 8(1) of the Land Use Planning and Approvals Regulations 2004, a discretionary application is required to be advertised by notice in the newspaper, notices put up at each public frontage of the land and notices to each adjoining owner and occupier of the land.

If I don't agree with the Council's decision, what can I do? 

If you as the applicant are unhappy with the council's decision, either because it has refused your application or has put conditions on that you disagree with, you can lodge an appeal with the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal (RMPAT), (commonly referred to as the Tribunal).

If you have as an objector lodged a representation to an application within the 14 day appeal period and are unhappy with Council's decision, you can also lodge an appeal with the Tribunal.

Standard Drawings & Specifications

Standard Drawings and Specifications can be viewed and downloaded here

Sustainable Tourism Plan for Tasmania's East Coast

Dorset Council in conjunction with Break O'Day Council and Glamorgan/Spring Bay Council in partnership with the Commonwealth Government, are preparing a Sustainable Tourism Plan for Tasmania's East Coast.  Visit the website by clicking here to find out more information.

Frequently Asked Questions - Planning

What is the difference between the Building Permit and the Planning Permit process?

The Building Permit process regulates the construction and alteration of buildings by assessing proposed buildings and structures and alteration work against the requirements of the Building Act 2016, Building Regulations 2016 and the National Construction Code (NCC).

Plumbing permits are usually part of the building permit process.

You should always check with Council before you commence any building, plumbing or repair works.

Please contact the Dorset Council's Development Services Department on (03) 6352 6500.

The Planning Permit process regulates the use and development of land by assessing proposals against Council's planning schemes and the State's planning legislation. The planning approval process focuses particularly on the impact of a proposal on the site and neighbouring land. It addresses the following sorts of issues:

Dorset Council accepts applications for Building and Planning at the same time, usually after prior consultation in respect to the proposal submitted.

A Building Permit is required for the vast majority of structures and buildings with the exception of some minor structures such as small fences, some repair works and minor alterations.

What if my property is Heritage Listed?

Having a heritage listed property does not mean that it cannot be changed or improved, but that any modifications will be thoroughly assessed to ensure that the heritage characteristics of the property are not lost.

Council Planning Scheme listing

If your property is heritage listed in the local council planning scheme, you will usually need to obtain planning approval for any use or development of the site. In most cases this will be a discretionary application.

This means that the application can either be approved or rejected by council and will be publicly advertised for 14 days, to allow anyone to make a representation on the proposal to council.

Tasmanian Heritage Register

Your property may also be listed on the Tasmanian Heritage Register. Council officers should be able to tell you if it is, or you can check the Australian Heritage Places Inventory.

If your property is on the Tasmanian Heritage Register it is considered to be of state heritage significance and is protected under the Historic Cultural Heritage Act 1995. To develop such a site, in addition to the council approval, you will also need to obtain approval through a works application to the Tasmanian Heritage Council.

Works applications are usually lodged with the local council at the same time as the planning permit is lodged. The local council sends all the information to the Tasmanian Heritage Council for assessment. This saves 'doubling up' by the applicant.  Please click on the link to download a Works Application Form.

There are no fees for works applications to the Tasmanian Heritage Council. You can appeal a Heritage Council decision to the Resource Management and Planning Appeals Tribunal (RMPAT). The appeal must be lodged within 40 days of the notice of the decision being given.