The Planning Process

One of Derwent Valley 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 the Derwent Valley Interim Planning Scheme 2015 (Planning Scheme) and the State's planning legislation; Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 (LUPAA). In particular the Planning Authority (Council) will examine the impact that the proposed development or use will have on the surrounding area.

What legislation regulates the planning permit process?

Planning and Development in Tasmania is regulated by a series of Acts, collectively known as the Resource Management and Planning System. These include:-

  • Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993;
  • State Policies and Projects Act 1993;
  • Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994;
  • Historic Cultural Heritage Act 1995;
  • Major infrastructure Development Approvals Act 1999;
  • Resource Planning and Development Commission Act 1997;
  • Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal Act 1993;
  • Threatened Species Protection Act 1995;

There may be additional pieces of state legislation that may need to be considered when deciding on planning issues.

When do I need to get a planning permit?

You need to get a Planning Permit (also known as planning approval) from Derwent Valley Council whenever you want to:-

  • Develop Land
  • Use land or buildings for a different purpose (change the use)
  • Extend the existing use or buildings

Almost all building works will require planning approval first.

All use and Development exempt from requiring Planning Approval is listed in the Planning Scheme - General Exemptions. If your proposal is not listed you will require planning approval.

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.

If your property is heritage listed, you will usually need to obtain approval for works from the Tasmanian Heritage Council and your local Council. For further information see Heritage Buildings or visit the Tasmanian Heritage Council website

How does the planning approval process work?

The onus is on the applicant to demonstrate compliance with the relevant standards of the Planning Scheme.

The planning scheme requires the proposed use to be classified in accordance with the use classes in the scheme. The planning scheme provides a table of use that sets whether a proposed use is no permit required, permitted, discretionary or prohibited.

The Planning Scheme is divided into two columns for each standard; Acceptable Solutions and Performance Criteria.

The aim is to get your use and development proposal to meet all the Acceptable Solutions that are relevant.

If your use and development is unable to meet a particular Acceptable Solution you can jump across to the right and address the Performance Criteria - The application must meet at least the Performance Criteria for each standard. If the application meets even one (1) of the Performance Criteria the application will be treated as a Discretionary Use Application by council (even if the use is No Permit required or permitted). Under Section 57 (LUPAA) this application is then advertised for fourteen days, by way of letter to adjoining property owners and occupiers, site notice and advertisement in the Local Government section of the Mercury Newspaper and displayed on Council's website.

How do I apply for a planning permit?

To apply for a Planning Permit you must lodge an application with Council.

Before you submit your application, you can talk with Council Planning Officers about your proposal. Our Officers will give advice on the relevant scheme standards for your proposal and any further information you require.

It may also be a good idea to discuss your proposal with neighbours, 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.

What does it cost to apply for planning approval?

Fees for planning are as per Council's current Fees and Charges.  Applications will become valid once fees are paid.

How long does planning approval take?

Legislation requires Councils to process applications within a maximum timeframe depending on the type of application. A discretionary application (S57 / requires advertising) must be assessed within a 42 day timeframe and a permitted application (S58 / does not require advertising) must be assessed within a 28 day timeframe. These timeframes are the maximum amount of time Council's has, however, not all applications will require the full legislative timeframe to assess the application. The Processing times vary depending on:-

  • The complexity of the application;
  • The number of applications already being considered by Council;
  • Whether all the necessary information has been provided at the beginning;
  • Whether the application is a permitted use or discretionary use.

Council is required to grant a permit, with or without conditions on any permitted use application within 28 days. This time frame can be extended by a written agreement between the applicant and the Council, and must occur before the 28 days expire. A 'Stop Clock' period can exist in this time where Council has requested further information from the applicant in order to process the application. Until the applicant responds to this request the clock is stopped.

The applicant must be informed by Council of their decision within 7 days of the permit being granted and an applicant has the right to appeal any conditions on the permit. Further information on appealing Council decisions can obtained from the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal website

Council is required to make a decision on a Discretionary Use Application within 42 days, during this time the application must be advertised allowing fourteen days for representations.

Council must consider any representations received and decide to refuse the application, approve it or approve it subject to conditions. The applicant may appeal the decision and anybody who has made representations may also appeal the decision.