Planning & Permits

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We negotiate with Councils on behalf of our clients regularly so we understand what they require and by when. There's nothing you need to do.

Before construction begins

Duncan Thompson will analyse your property and determine what permits and planning approvals are required to build an extension to your home. Your extension cannot be built without a Building Permit and may not be built without approval from your local Council. Your Council will ensure your extension complies with all regulations. We negotiate with Councils on behalf of our clients regularly so we understand what they require and by when. There's nothing you need to do.

Town Planning Approvals

Almost half of all extensions we design and build will require Town Planning approval. Because of our unmatched knowledge and experience in dealing directly with Councils we will know almost immediately whether your house will be suitable to extend or not. All our work is inspected by a qualified Building Surveyor throughout the build to guarantee all our work complies with mandatory building regulations.

Permits and town planning overlays that could affect your extension build

Heritage Overlay

Many of Melbourne's older suburbs have areas which contain existing homes in a heritage zone.  Typically, upper storey extensions are restricted, if visible from the street, although Duncan Thompson has managed to incorporate upper storey extensions further back in the roof. Ground floor extensions to the rear of the house are usually accepted by the Town Planning Departments.

Design & Development Overlay

Some municipalities have Design and Development overlays to provide additional controls to suit the particular areas of Melbourne.  Requirements typically in a design and development overlay usually relate to building height and setbacks, although can include other requirements relating to the design or built form of new development.

Special Building Overlay

In areas which are subject to flooding or overland drainage which affects the lower lying areas of Melbourne, special building overlays exist to control floor level heights to ensure homes remain safely out of the flood waters.

Significant Landscape Overlay

Melbourne has many green suburbs with many mature trees providing shading and other amenities which we enjoy.  To aid in their retention, Councils use significant landscape overlays as an approval process to control significant tree removal.  The overlay defines criteria that controls which trees are considered significant.

Building Permit

The building permit is required for all extension works and is issued by a Registered Building Surveyor.  The building permit can only be issued when the planning permit (if required) has been issued and insurances are in place to protect the consumer.  Duncan Thompson includes all documentation and fees associated with obtaining the building permit.

Demolition Permit

A demolition permit is required to demolish any major works and can only be applied for after the town planning permit has been obtained.

Dispensation Protection

Some building projects will involve a variation to the regulations and therefore need special approval. In some of these cases, a registered building surveyor has the authority to assess whether or not the design will achieve the intent of the regulations and, if so, still issue a permit. In some exceptional circumstances, only the local council will be able to approve a building project that is not in accordance with the regulations. In these cases a special dispensation, known as a 'consent and report', is sought from your local council.

The need for a dispensation may occur in the following circumstances:

  • Building over an easement
  • Building on flood prone land
  • Building a new home closer to the front boundary than your neighbours have done
  • Erecting a garage on a vacant block.
Whilst this might seem overwhelming, it's important to remember that Duncan Thompson takes care of all construction permits and town planning requirements so there is nothing our clients need to do.

House Extension Enquiries

Extension details

Getting started

Jim Despotellis Design Manager

Planning your home extension doesn't have to be daunting. Let us take some of the stress away. We offer a free, no obligation design consultation.

A senior member of our design team will be happy to talk to you and arrange a design consultation. We'll listen to your needs and discuss the best options for your family's lifestyle and budget.

Phone us on (03) 9836 8655 today to arrange your obligation-free Design Consultation across Melbourne's inner Eastern and bayside suburbs including Camberwell, Glen Iris, Brighton East, Surrey Hills, Balwyn, Hawthorn East, Brighton, Kew, Balwyn North, Caufield North and others!