Enforcing Permits

Planning Compliance and Enforcement Issues

IMPORTANT NEWS for Planning Enforcement: At its meeting on 5 March 2018, Council adopted a series of new operational protocols and methods to be used in the issuing and management of Planning Permits as they relate to tree retention and landscape implementation. Read more about our New Tree Protection Process.

Planning regulations are in place to protect the urban character and amenity of the City of Stonnington. To ensure compliance with the Stonnington Planning Scheme and any approved planning permits, action may be taken with regards to breaches of these regulations.

Stonnington Council investigates all identified breaches of the planning scheme and planning permits. Development compliance issues may include:

  • No permit - Building works conducted without a planning permit where one is required. This may involve external changes to a property, such as a demolition or extension, carried out without the required approval.
  • Non compliance with planning permit conditions - Building works that are inconsistent with the approved planning permit and/or endorsed plans. For example:  
    - window screenings that are not installed as required
    - alterations and changes to wall heights, materials and colour finishes where specified
    - removal of trees or alterations to landscaping other than those approved in the plans.
  • Illegal use - Illegal use of a property or use inconsistent with the Stonnington Planning Scheme or planning permit conditions. For example, if the conditions specify hours that a business can operate are not adhered to.
  • Changes of land use - Changes of use of land, without planning approval, where such approval is required.
  • Heritage - Works and demolition carried out to a property in a Heritage Overlay without prior planning approval.  

Options Available to Council

For minor offences, wherever possible, planning investigations officers seek to resolve issues through negotiation with the parties involved.  However, in circumstances where negotiation fails, the Planning and Environment Act 1987 provides for other enforcement options.

These options include:

  • the issue of an official warning
  • the issue of a Planning Infringement Notice (PIN)
  • an application to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for an enforcement order
  • an application to VCAT for the cancellation or amendment of a planning permit
  • commencement of prosecution proceedings in the Victorian Magistrate’s Court.

Serious breaches will be prosecuted.

Illegal brothels

From time to time we receive complaints and reports of alleged illegal brothels. Council does not deal with illegal brothels, they are the responsibility of Victoria Police.

Should you have concerns about the existence of a illegal brothel, either: