Mount Hotham

Planning Requirements & Information

The following is some information to assist you preparing a planning permit.

What do I need to include in my Permit Application?

  • A completed planning permit application form
  • The prescribed fee
  • A copy of the site's lease plan
  • A detailed description of the proposal
  • A full set of dimensioned & scaled plans, preferably 1:100 and A3 in size (five copies)
  • A schedule of colours & materials
  • A Preliminary Geotechnical Report (in accordance with Schedule 1 to the Erosion Management Overlay) and declaration form (if applicable)
  • A complete Site Environmental Management Plan (SEMP)
  • A Planning Report demonstrating how the proposal is consistent with the policies, zones, overlays and relevant particular provisions of the Alpine Resort's Planning Scheme
  • An Assessment against the Native Vegetation (if applicable)
  • An assessment against the Bushfire Management Overlay (if applicable)

How do I lodge my application?

A planning permit application can be lodged through the post with applications sent to:

Planning - Alpine Resorts

Department Environment, Land, Water & Planning

Level 11, 1 Spring Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

Is it beneficial to have pre-application discussions?

Yes, an initial meeting with the Alpine Planning Unit is encouraged; this meeting can include Alpine Resort Management Boards, DELWP, and CFA etc. Pre-application meetings allow for the early identification of potential problems and the development of solutions.

Tips for pre-application meetings

  • Arrange the meeting for a specific time.
  • To maximise the opportunities of a pre-application meeting bring along the following:
  • A completed site analysis plan;
  • Photos of the site;
  • Sketches of the proposed development; and
  • An open mind towards the choice of sitting and building design. Applications that bring completed designs are missing the point of pre-application meetings.

Please contact the Alpine Planning Team to arrange a time and date for the meeting.

What is the process once my application is lodged?

Once an application is lodged, the application will be allocated to a Planning Officer who will:

  • Conduct a preliminary assessment to see if any Further Information is required
  • Send referrals to mandatory Referral Authorities under section 55 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987
  • Determine if the application is required to be advertised, and if yes, direct the applicant to advertise the application (applicant to send letters & display notice Form 2)
  • Consider any objections and referral responses to the application
  • Assess the application against the policies & objectives within the Alpine Resorts Planning Scheme
  • Put forward a recommendation to a Delegate (Manager) or Minister for Planning
  • Decision issued

What are Referral Authorities?

During the assessment processes there is recognition of specialist agencies that contribute to better outcomes within the Alpine Resorts.

There are mandatory referral authorities such as the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning, Water Authorities, Catchment Management Authorities, Country Fire Authority, SP AusNet and Alpine Resort Management Boards that make comments on planning applications on issues such as native vegetation, geotechnical matters, the provision of services etc. Referral Authorities have the ability to place conditions on planning permits or object to planning permit applications

Preparing an Application

Alpine Resorts Planning Scheme

The Alpine Resorts Planning Scheme was introduced in November 1997 as a result of significant reforms to the planning system in Victoria. The Alpine Resorts Planning Scheme covers the resort areas of Mount Hotham, Falls Creek, Lake Mountain, Mt Baw Baw, and Mt Buller and Mt Stirling.

The Alpine Resorts Planning Scheme sets out the policies and controls for the use and development, removal and lopping of vegetation and protection of land within the six Alpine Resorts.

It contains State and Local planning policies, zones and overlays and other provisions that affect how land can be used and developed.

The planning scheme will indicate if a planning permit is required to change the use of land, or to construct a building, or remove, lop or destroy vegetation including native vegetation or make other changes to the land.

Examples of current triggers for planning permits:

  • Any works (eg. earthworks)
  • Any new building, an extension or alterations and additions to existing buildings (from a canopy or re-cladding to site redevelopment)
  • Skifield development (drainage, replacement of lifts or new lifts, snow making infrastructure etc)
  • Removal, lopping or destruction of any vegetation
  • Liquor licensing
  • Advertising signage
  • A reduction or waiver in the car parking requirements and bicycle facilities

The Alpine Resorts Planning Scheme can be viewed on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website:

Any queries relating to the Alpine Resort Planning Scheme should be directed to the Alpine Planning Unit on

P/ 03 9098 8960


What is in the Alpine Resorts Planning Scheme?

There are two types of information in the planning scheme:

  • Maps showing how the land is zoned and the overlay affecting the land.
  • Ordinances which set out the written requirements of a planning scheme including the types of uses and developments that require a planning permit.

Environmental Management Guidelines for Construction Sites

These guidelines are an initiative of the MHARMB and aim to promote a preventative rather than reactive approach to project planning and implementation. With the MHARMB working closely with stakeholders, builders and developers to ensure that the site, spoil, drainage and revegetation are managed in accordance with best practice environemental management principles.

The guidelines are intended to provide an outline of the key factors that need to be considered to ensure successful site management and rehabilitation.

The Objective is to understand and work with the alpine environment so that soil disturbance is minimal and site rehabilitation is both achievable and sustainable.

Click the link to download a copy of the Environmental Management Guidelines for Construction Sites

Geotechnical Assessments

When is a Geotechnical Report required?

The Erosion Management Overlay Schedule 1 Management of Geotechnical Hazard (EMO1) is a control that applies across all land in Victoria's six Alpine Resorts. The EMO1 triggers the requirement for a planning permit to construct a building, construct and carry out work as well as the lopping, removal and destroying of any vegetation (native or introduced).

A Preliminary Geotechnical Assessment must be submitted when a planning permit is required under the EMO1 and must be specific to the site and the development proposal. Where the risk to property or life is found to be low or very low, as defined by the AGS Guidelines, no further geotechnical analysis is required. If the risk to property and life is found to be greater than low a Quantitative Risk Assessment will be required.

To assist in the preparation of a Preliminary Geotechnical Report, background material and advice can be sought from the relevant Alpine Resort Management Board.

Each Alpine Resort Management Board is a referral authority for the purpose of assessing a Preliminary Geotechnical Assessment submitted under the EMO1. The Alpine Resort Management Board may respond that it:

  • requires a more detailed geotechnical report,
  • supports a proposal based on the preliminary geotechnical report,
  • supports the proposal subject to conditions, or
  • objects to the proposal on geotechnical grounds.

If the Alpine Resort Management Board objects to the proposal, the Responsible Authority must refuse the application.

Who should prepare a Geotechnical Report?

A Geotechnical Assessment must be prepared or technically verified by a suitable qualified and experienced geotechnical practitioner.

A declaration must be signed by the practitioner and submitted with the Geotechnical Assessment to demonstrate that they are suitably qualified and have the necessary professional indemnity insurance to prepare such reports. A copy of the declaration below.

Practitioner declaration form

Application to Use or Develop Land

The need for early discussion with MHARMB

If you propose to use or develop land, first discuss the proposal in details with the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board (MHARMB) property and planning department. Early discussion will confirm whether a permit is necessary and identify any other requirements.

Making a planning permit application

If a permit is required, an Application for Planning Permit form must be filled out and lodged with the responsible authority, which are currently the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

The application must include all necessary supporting information such as plans, reports and photographs so that the proposal is fully described and can be understood by all interested parties.

The Planning and Environment Act 1987 requires the payment of a fee for the processing of applications. Details of the fee can be obtained from DELWP.

In some circumstances, the Minister for Planning or another person may administer parts of this Alpine Resorts Planning Scheme. A DELWP planning officer can advise you what to do in such cases.

Considering and giving notice of the application

In considering an application, the Department (DELWP) will in most cases decide whether material detriment may be caused to any person and, if so, it must give them an opportunity to comment on the proposal.

There are a number of ways of giving notice of an application, including notifying the owners and occupiers of nearby properties, and placing notices on the land and in a newspaper circulating in the area.

With some applications, Council will seek the views of other government or public agencies before making a decision. It may also ask you to provide more information.

Once any necessary advertising has been completed and other agencies have had time to comment, the application will be decided.

In making its decision, the Department must assess an application against the strategies and desired outcomes outlined in the scheme's policy frameworks. Any other matters that the scheme specifies must also be taken into account.

The decision

Following consideration of your application, The Department will decide to either:

  • Issue a permit.
  • Issue a notice of decision to grant a permit (which gives objectors a set time in which to lodge an application for review).
  • Refuse to grant a permit.

A permit can be issued with or without conditions, and a proposal can only begin and continue if all the conditions on the permit are met.

Do I have a right to seek a review of a decision?

In many cases, yes. Your rights to a review of a Department decision are usually explained in the document that conveys advice of Department decision. Additional information on reviews of decision may be obtained from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT),

What is the difference between building and planning permits?

Planning permits must not be confused with building permits. Building permits are issued under the Victoria Building Regulations and generally related only to the constructional aspects of a building or other development.

A building permit is required in most cases involving development. You should consult a building surveyor if any building is proposed. If a planning permit is required, it must be obtained before a building permit can be issued.

Need more Assistance?

Contact a DELWP planning officer if you:

  • Have a general enquiry about the Alpine Planning Scheme.
  • Are unsure what requirements apply to your land.
  • Are unsure of the steps in the planning application process.
  • Would like to know how the Alpine Planning Scheme may be changed.
  • Want a planning application form.
  • Want to buy a copy of the Planning Scheme or an amendment.

A range of planning publications is available by visiting the DELWP website or VCAT publications via the VCAT website

Relevant legislation includes:

  • Planning and Environment Act 1987 and the Planning and Environment Regulations 2005
  • Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998
  • Tribunals Licensing Authorities (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 1998

Copies of legislations can be obtained via the website