Helpful planning terms

Do you want to know the meaning of a complex planning term? Perhaps you just need more information. We can help.

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Car Parking Demand Assessment

A written statement assessing the likely car parking demand for:

  • proposed developments
  • new use
  • increases in floor or site area of existing use

The assessment must address the following types of things:

  • the likelihood of multi-purpose trips within the locality which are likely to be combined with a trip to the land in connection with the proposed use
  • the likely variation of car parking demand from the proposed use over time
  • the likely short and long-stay car parking demand from the proposed use
  • the availability of public transport in the area
  • the convenience of pedestrian and cyclist access to the land
  • the provision of bicycle parking and end-of-trip facilities for cyclists in the area
  • the anticipated car ownership rates of likely or proposed visitors or occupants
  • any empirical assessment or case study.

Certificate of Title

A document that contains the legal details about a parcel of land including who owns it, what size it is and whether there are any restrictions that you need to be aware of (known easements, covenants or Section 173 Agreements). You should provide a Certificate of Title which is less than three months old when you apply for a Planning Permit so that we know everything is up to date. You can get a copy of your title from the Landata website.

Common planning terms that aren't defined here

For a full list of general terms used in planning, see Section 73.01 of the Glen Eira Planning Scheme.

Compulsory conferences

When an application has been appealed to VCAT, this is an opportunity for people who become part of the VCAT process and Council to informally discuss issues and potentially reach an agreement without having to go to a hearing. It's a bit like a structured mediation session.

Condition 1 Plans?

When you get a Planning Permit, sometimes you will be required to make some further changes to your development before you can start what you want to do. They usually come under Condition 1 of the permit. We'll stamp these when they’re satisfactory.

For more information, visit Submitting Condition 1 and other plans.

Demolition plan

A plan showing the portion of a building or any structure (such as a shed, fence or window) to be demolished on the parcels of land. You will need a demolition plan if you are making changes to a building or any structure that is included within a Heritage Overlay or Neighbourhood Character area.

Design response

A plan or photos showing a proposed development in the context of adjacent buildings. The design response must explain how a proposal fits into the existing neighbourhood character or responds to any preferred character statement identified in a planning policy or a Neighbourhood Character Overlay.

Development summary

A table or written explanation that details aspects of existing and proposed conditions including the:

  • site area
  • floor area
  • number of dwellings
  • number of car spaces
  • area of private/total open space
  • building site coverage
  • percentage of impervious surfaces
  • percentage of garden area


A scaled and fully dimensioned plan that shows what a building or structure looks look as if you were looking directly at from the front, sides or the rear.

Floor plan

A scaled and fully dimensioned plan that shows what the layout of each level looks like as if you were looking from above. It should also show how far away a building or structure is from each site boundary.

Glen Eira Planning Scheme

The rule book for considering any planning application within the Glen Eira municipality. It sets out when a planning permit is required to use, develop, or subdivide a parcel of land, and sets out what can and can't be taken into consideration.


A block of land with two or more dwellings including houses, townhouses, units and apartments. It also includes mixed-use developments that include dwellings in amongst other uses such as shops, cafes, offices and the likes.

Neighbourhood and site description

A plan or photos that describe the existing conditions of the site and the surrounding neighbourhood.

Elements of the site include:

  • shape, size, orientation and easements
  • the level of the site and difference in levels with surrounding properties
  • the location of existing buildings on the site and surrounding properties
  • the location and height of walls built to the site’s boundary of the site
  • the use of surrounding buildings
  • the location of secluded private open space and habitable room windows of surrounding properties with an outlook within nine metres
  • solar access to the site and to surrounding properties
  • the location of significant trees which are still standing, or were removed from the site in the 12 months before the application, where known
  • any contaminated soils and filled areas, where known
  • views to and from the site
  • street frontage features such as poles, street trees and kerb crossovers
  • other notable features or characteristics.

Elements of the surrounding neighbourhood include:

  • the built form, scale and character of the surrounding development including front fencing
  • architectural and roof styles
  • other notable neighbourhood features or characteristics.


A map in a planning scheme showing the location of special features, such as where land may be subject to flooding, may have special heritage characteristics, may have land management requirements and the likes. Overlays also provide requirements and guidelines for the design of new developments. Overlays define if you need a Planning Permit to do works on your land.

Planning Report

A report describing how your proposal responds to relevant planning policies including:

  • planning policy framework
  • planning scheme provisions including zones and overlays
  • Clause 54 or 55 of the Glen Eira Planning Scheme
  • particular provisions including the residential and subdivision development standards of Glen Eira Planning Scheme.

Practice day hearing

A hearing to resolve when an application has been appealed to VCAT, procedural issues before compulsory conference or a merits hearing. Procedural issues usually relate to the future conduct of the appeal, such as the length of the hearing and how long parties will take or if there will be any expert evidence relied on.

Referral Authority

A body or government department that sometimes needs to provide comments or advice on planning applications. For example:

  • Melbourne Water for sites affected by a Special Building Overlay (flood overlay)
  • VicRoads for sites adjoining a road in a Road Zone Category 1.

Section 173 Agreement?

  • Transport for Victoria for large developments
  • The water, gas and electricity authorities for subdivision applications

an agreement between a land owner and a council (Responsible Authority). It usually sets out conditions or restrictions for the requirement and development or use of land. Section 173 Agreements are registered on the Certificate of Title, so councils can enforce them like they do Planning Permit conditions or Planning Scheme requirements.

Shadow Diagrams

A plan showing where shadows will fall at specific times of the day. Shadow diagrams:

  • must be on a separate plan for the hours of 9am, 12noon and 3pm at 22 September (Equinox)
  • must include shadows cast (Sometimes we will need them for all hours between 9am and 3pm when you are next door to a house with a small yard)
  • may clearly differentiate between existing shadows and proposed shadows.

Single dwelling

A block of land with one dwelling, such as a single house or double-storey house on one parcel of land. 

Victorian Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)

VCAT is a State Government Tribunal that reviews planning decisions made by Council (amongst other things). It has a panel of experts that independently reviews council planning decisions known as Tribunal Members. Most types of planning applications can be independently review after a decision is made.

For more information, visit the VCAT website

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