Planning permit steps

On this page, you'll find information on the necessary steps taken when your planning permit is referred onto the Department of Transport for consideration.

On this page:

Before a planning application is lodged

The Department of Transport may need to become involved in the permit planning phase for a number of reasons.

When the Department of Transport becomes involved

A planning permit application is referred onto the Department of Transport for assessment in the following circumstances:

  • a new access (or changes to an existing access) from a property onto the arterial road network is proposed 
  • a new electronic and animated signage within 60m of a freeway or arterial road is proposed
  • a proposal on land which is affected by a public acquisition overlay (PAO) where the Department of Transport is the acquiring authority
  • if council believes the Department of Transport might have an interest in the proposal
  • where a planning permit referral trigger exists in the relevant planning scheme. 

How the Department of Transport differs from my local council

While the Department of Transport is concerned with the impact of a proposal on the state transport network, council generally take a wider range of factors into consideration, such as: 

  • impact upon local streets
  • neighbouring properties
  • the delivery of council services and other projects.  

Applying for a planning permit

You won’t need to apply for a planning permit with the Department of Transport separately. 

Where necessary, your local council will refer  the application onto the Department of Transport and you will be notified that this has occurred. 

Your application has been referred onto The Department of Transport

What the Department of Transport takes into consideration

The Department of Transport only assesses and provides comments on how a proposal may impact on the operation of the transport network, transport network assets and public safety.

Based on the Department of Transport comments, the proposal may need to be changed (i.e. altering the access arrangements).

What The Department of Transport is looking for

The Department of Transport will assess applications in relation to what impact they may have on the operation of the transport network, transport assets and safety for all road users.

Please refer to our Crossovers page for more information relating to crossovers and access.

How long the process takes

The Department of Transport must respond to a planning permit within 28 days or request further information within 21 days. 

Once the Department of Transport has prepared a referral response to a planning permit application, we will send out a copy to the responsible authority (usually your Council) and to the permit applicant. 

If the Department of Transport need to talk to you or seek further information to help with our assessment, we will contact you.

The Department of Transport has made a planning permit decision

Conditions the Department of Transport may impose

The Department of Transport can set conditions related to any aspect of works that could affect the operation, assets or safety of the transport network.

The Department of Transport can choose to:

  • support the permit
  • support the permit with conditions
  • object to the permit.

Contesting a decision

The Planning and Environment Act 1987 sets out how you can contest a planning permit decision. 

The Department of Transport encourage you to first come and talk to us and attempt to resolve any outstanding matters.

The Department of Transport has applied permit conditions

Why the Department of Transport imposes conditions

The Department of Transport sets permit conditions to: 

  • address or minimise potential impacts of the proposal on the operation of the arterial road networ
  • ensure safety is maintained for all road users. 

Permit conditions are designed to guide the applicant in how to best meet the Department of Transport requirements.

Questions about the conditions

If you have any questions regarding conditions the Department of Transport has imposed on your permit, please contact your local the Department of Transport statutory planning team using the contact details included in the letter or email you receive. 

If you do not have these details, visit our Contacts page.

Can council change the Department of Transport conditions?

Generally, council does not have jurisdiction to change any the Department of Transport condition.

The Department of Transport-approved contractors 

If you are required to undertake works within the state transport network you may need approval under the Road Management Act 2004.  The Department of Transport have pre-qualified traffic consultants and contractors to help you undertake works including traffic control and access construction. 

View our pre-qualified contractor list.

Applicants must ensure the Department of Transport is contacted before the start of any works within the road reserve.