A town planning consultant specialises in advising on issues related to the planning and developing stages of property development projects. Development planning consultants will also have knowledge of environmental issues that may affect your building project.

Some town planning consultants will play an active role in all the planning stages whereas others will only be consulted for certain decisions. This can depend on what you need the planning consultant for and your budget. Planning consultants liaise with design consultants, architects, engineers, property developers and other expert consultants to understand every aspect of the project and streamline the processes. 

The role of a planning consultant 

Planning consultants can help you navigate the complex legislation and permissions that need to be obtained to build properties. A planning consultant will mainly take part in dealing with the council matters such as the planning permit process but they can also lend their expertise in overseeing other areas of your development project. 

The Planning Permit Process

A planning permit does not give full building permissions, therefore you may need to also obtain a building permit. The local government is the main authority that decides on the approval or denial of your permit application.


  • Research planning scheme (regulation of land use and development) 
  • Speak to council planner (find out whether you need to apply for a permit, if it’s prohibited, additional information you may need to submit and how it will be processed) 
  • Speak to neighbours (be aware of their concerns so you can potentially address them) 
  • Consider seeking professional advice (helps you to propose ideas that will more likely meet their standards and your needs)

Preparing and submitting application 

  • Application information and form (find out from your council what information you need to provide as well as what is specifically needed for your permit type)
  • Fee (provide estimated cost of development which will determine the fee of planning application) 

Council check of application

  • Provide more information 
  • Referral (some permit applications will require the council to obtain advice and comments from other organisations or authorities) 

Application advertisement 

  • Letters mailed to neighbours, signs posted onsite, notices in newspaper 
  • Objections may occur

Council assessment of application 

  • Consideration of objections
  • Mediations held if required 
  • Referrals considered 
  • Planning scheme provisions assessed 
  • Negotiations with permit applicant
  • Report prepared 

Council decision 

  • Council issues permit or notice of decisions (with conditions) or rejection 

VCAT review if applied for 

  • Permit applicant can appeal against refusal condition or objector appeals against notice of decision 

JKBD’s collaboration with town planning consultants

Efficient, coordinated stakeholder efforts 

At JKBD, we provide an extensive range of design services that will complement town planning and help streamline any property development project. By hiring a planning consultant to assist JKBD design consultants, we ensure effective project coordination and alignment of collaborative stakeholder efforts. Having experienced professionals work together saves you time in the planning process and will give you more peace of mind that your project is in good hands.

Harmonious partnerships and relationship building

With over 20 years of expertise, the JKBD design consultants have a wealth of experience in building strong relationships with planning consultants. As such, over the lengthy development process, planning consultants work hand in hand with us to ensure permissions are obtained faster and so we can create successful, compliant designs that will be approved. Together, as important stakeholders, we ensure that you’re making the most of your building project and getting the most value for your time, effort and money. 

Do I need to hire a Planning Consultant?

Hiring a planning consultant will be very beneficial to simplify planning processes for any kind of development. It is particularly useful when obtaining permission for your project development will not be straightforward and involves interpretation of development plans and planning policies. We recommend hiring a planning consultant before you apply for permits with the council as it will give you a better chance of success than if your project has already been refused. Employing planning and design consultants to work together on your project will make obtaining permissions faster and easier as well as ensure coordinated efforts on your development project. 

Get in touch with the specialised JKBD consultants to see how we can accelerate your property development project.