Do I need a permit to use or develop land?

"use” is the purpose for which land is utilised. 
“development” is any work carried out on land, including construction, alteration or removal of a building, fence, sign or structure; earthworks to change the existing topography of land; provision of vehicle access and parking area; clearing or disturbance of vegetation; and subdivision of land.

You may require a permit to commence a new use or to change an existing use, or to carry out development on land.

If a permit is required, you must not commence or carry out that use or development until a permit has been granted and is in effect, and there is compliance to the terms and conditions of that permit.


We suggest you discuss your proposed use or development with one of our friendly Planning Officers on 03 6430 5700 to determine whether there is a permit requirement before making any commitment or taking any action to commence or carry out that activity.

Council’s planning officers will be pleased to answer your questions and to provide advice on how the planning scheme applies for your proposed site,  use or development. 

We can advise whether you will require a permit; and what is needed to prepare and lodge a planning permit application.  

An appointment is not necessary.  However, it is advisable to call and arrange a time when a planning officer is available. 



Establishing a new use for example may be:

  • from residential use to a visitor accommodation
  • establishing a new use in an existing building

Development includes, but is not limited to:

  • Construction, works or exterior alteration of a building
  • Extension to existing buildings
  • Development of multiple dwellings
  • Demolition or removal of a building
  • Earth-moving works or vegetation removal
  • Subdivision of land
  • Relocation of a structure
  • Display of signs


Tasmanian Planning Scheme

 The requirement for a permit are set out in the provisions of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme (TPS) –

  • Clause 4 identifies a number of low impact use and development for which there is no permit requirement
  • the applicable Use Table for the zone applying to the land on which the use or development is be carried out will indicate whether a use class is permissible and whether a permit is required –
    • if No Permit Required - the use and development must comply with each applicable standard without relying on any performance criteria, and does not otherwise require a permit or is not prohibited under another provision of the TPS;
    • if Permitted - a permit must be granted if the use or development will comply with each applicable standard without relying on any performance criteria, does not otherwise require a discretionary permit, and is not prohibited under a provision of the TPS;
    • if Discretionary – a permit may be granted or refuse if the use or development is not otherwise prohibited under a provision of the TPS, after taking into consideration each applicable purpose statement, each applicable standard, and any representation received during the public notification period if relevant to the discretion being exercised
    • if Prohibited – a permit is not available , and use or development cannot be lawfully commenced or carried out
  • if a permit is available, and a use or development relies on performance criteria to comply with all or part of an applicable standard, or is otherwise discretionary under any other provision of the TPS, the grant of a permit is discretionary


Discretionary Permits

If the grant of a permit is discretionary, the Burnie planning authority must notify all adjoining owners and occupiers, place a notice on the site, and place a notice in the Advocate newspaper to advise of the application.  A period of 14-days must be provided during which any interested person may inspect the application and make representations in writing in relation to any matter relevant to the discretion to be exercised.

The planning authority must not make a decision on the permit application until after the exhibition period is ended; and must take into consideration any matter in a representation that is relevant to the discretion to be exercised.

A person making a representation has a right to appeal the decision of the planning authority to the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal


Please Note – a permit requirement under the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 is not an approval to carry out building or plumbing works regulated under the Building Act 2016.  A separate approval process may apply for demolition, building and plumbing works.