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Shipping containers

Whether a shipping container requires a planning permit depends on the following:

  • What it is being used for (e.g. a shed? House? Office?)
  • Is it associated with an existing dwelling, or is the land is vacant?
  • What uses and building and works does the zone allow?
  • Is the land subject to any other overlay that might apply to a specific area (e.g. is the site subject to bushfire or flooding controls)?

To determine what zone and overlay you are in please visit the VicPlan website. If you need assistance with using VicPlan please refer to the following website.

Please note, we must take into consideration a range of considerations including the orderly planning of the area, policy, impacts on the environment, human health and amenity of the area. Because a permit can be granted does not imply that a permit should or will be granted. We must decide whether the proposal will produce acceptable outcomes in terms of the decision guidelines of this clause.

Zones

Low Density Residential Zone (LDRZ)


When a shipping container requires a planning permit (or is prohibited):

  • If it is a self-contained second dwelling; or
  • if it is a shed on vacant land; or
  • if an overlay applies that requires planning approval; or
  • if is used for a commercial purpose e.g. a food truck.

NOTE: There are other considerations in LDRZ they may apply. For example, septic permits may be required if the shipping container has a bathroom.


When a shipping container does NOT require a planning permit

If it is associated with an existing dwelling and:

  • if it is a dependent person’s unit; or
  • if it is a shed; or
  • if it is being used as an office for a home based-business; or
  • if it is a detached extension (i.e. a studio with a bedroom and ensuite).
General Residential Zone (GRZ)


When a shipping container requires a planning permit (or is prohibited):

  • If it is a self-contained second dwelling; or
  • if it is a shed on vacant land; or
  • if an overlay applies that requires planning approval; or
  • if is used for a commercial purpose e.g. a food truck; or
  • the site is less than 300sqm in area.


When a shipping container does NOT require a planning permit

If it is associated with an existing dwelling and:

  • if it is a dependent person’s unit; or
  • if it is a shed; or
  • if it is being used as an office for a home based-business; or
  • if it is a detached extension (i.e. a studio with a bedroom and ensuite).
Farming Zone (FZ)

When a shipping container requires a planning permit (or is prohibited):

  • if it is within:
    • 100 metres from a Transport Zone 2 (i.e. principal road network).
    • 40 metres from a Transport Zone 3 (i.e. significant Council road).
    • 40-100 metres from land in a Public Acquisition Overlay (please call our team if this applies)
    • 20 metres from any other road.
    • 5 metres from any other boundary.
    • 100 metres from a dwelling not in the same ownership.
    • 100 metres from a waterway, wetlands or designated flood plain.
  • if it is a self-contained second dwelling OR the only dwelling; or
  • if it is a shed on vacant land being used for storage; or
  • if an overlay applies that requires planning approval; or
  • it is used for a commercial purpose e.g. a food truck.

When a shipping container does NOT require a planning permit

  • If it is being used as an agricultural shed associated with an established agricultural business; or
  • if it is associated with an existing dwelling AND the shipping container is under 100sqm in size AND it meets one of the following:
    • it is a dependent person's unit; or
    • it is a shed; or
    • it is being used as an office for a home based business; or
    • it is a detached extension e.g. a studio outbuilding with a bedroom and ensuite.

NOTE: The shipping container must meet the setback requirements from roads and boundaries as specified in the first paragraph to not require a planning permit.

Township Zone (TZ)


When a shipping container requires a planning permit (or is prohibited):

  • If it is a self-contained second dwelling; or
  • if it is a shed on vacant land; or
  • if an overlay applies that requires planning approval; or
  • if is used for a commercial purpose e.g. a food truck.

NOTE: There are other considerations in LDRZ they may apply. For example, septic permits may be required if the shipping container has a bathroom.


When a shipping container does NOT require a planning permit

If it is associated with an existing dwelling and:

  • if it is a dependent person’s unit; or
  • if it is a shed; or
  • if it is being used as an office for a home based-business; or
  • if it is a detached extension (i.e. a studio with a bedroom and ensuite).
Rural Living Zone (RLZ)

When a shipping container requires a planning permit (or is prohibited):

  • If it is a self-contained second dwelling; or
  • if it a shed on vacant land; or
  • if an overlay applies that requires planning approval; or
  • it is used for a commercial purpose e.g. a food truck; or
  • if it is within 100 metres of a waterway.

When a shipping container does NOT require a planning permit

  • Not applicable - a planning permit is always required for buildings and works and potentially the use.
Rural Conservation Zone (RCZ)

When a shipping container requires a planning permit (or is prohibited):

  • if it is within:
      • 100 metres from a Transport Zone 2 (i.e. principal road network).
      • 40 metres from a Transport Zone 3 (i.e. significant Council road).
      • 40-100 metres from land in a Public Acquisition Overlay (please call our team if this applies)
      • 20 metres from any other road.
      • 5 metres from any other boundary.
      • 100 metres from a dwelling not in the same ownership.
      • 100 metres from a waterway, wetlands or designated flood plain.
  • if the shipping container is associated with accommodation (e.g. dwelling) located within 500 metres from the nearest title boundary of land on which a work authority has been applied for or granted under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990.
  • if it is a self-contained second dwelling OR the only dwelling; or
  • if it is a shed on vacant land; or
  • if an overlay applies that requires planning approval; or
  • it is used for a commercial purpose e.g. a food truck.

When a shipping container does NOT require a planning permit

If the shipping container is associated within an existing dwelling, under 100sqm in size and:

  • if it is a dependent person's unit; or
  • if it is a shed;
  • if it is being used as an office for a home based business; or
  • if it is a detached extension e.g. a studio outbuilding with a bedroom and ensuite.

NOTE: The shipping container must meet the setback requirements from roads and boundaries as specified in the first paragraph to not require a planning permit.

Rural Activity Zone (RAZ)

When a shipping container requires a planning permit (or is prohibited):

  • if it is within:
      • 100 metres from a Transport Zone 2 (i.e. principal road network).
      • 40 metres from a Transport Zone 3 (i.e. significant Council road).
      • 40-100 metres from land in a Public Acquisition Overlay (please call our team if this applies)
      • 20 metres from any other road.
      • 5 metres from any other boundary.
      • 100 metres from a dwelling not in the same ownership.
      • 100 metres from a waterway, wetlands or designated flood plain.
  • if it is a self-contained second dwelling OR the only dwelling; or
  • if it is a shed on vacant land that is being used for storage; or
  • if an overlay applies that requires planning approval; or
  • it is used for a commercial purpose e.g. a food truck.

When a shipping container does NOT require a planning permit

  • If it is being used as an agricultural shed associated with an established agricultural business; or
  • if it is associated with an existing dwelling AND the shipping container is under 100sqm in size AND it meets one of the following:
    • it is a dependent person's unit; or
    • it is a shed; or
    • it is being used as an office for a home based business; or
    • it is a detached extension e.g. a studio outbuilding with a bedroom and ensuite.

NOTE: The shipping container must meet the setback requirements from roads and boundaries as specified in the first paragraph to not require a planning permit.

Industrial 1 Zone (IN1Z)

When a shipping container requires a planning permit (or is prohibited):

  • A planning permit will be required for the buildings and works component of the shipping container.

    Some uses are prohibited (e.g. if the shed is to be used as accommodation/dwelling).


When a shipping container does NOT require a planning permit

  • Not applicable - a planning permit is always required for buildings and works.
Industrial 3 Zone (IN2Z)

When a shipping container requires a planning permit (or is prohibited):

  • All uses excluding grazing animal production.

NOTE: The shed cannot be associated with accommodation (including dwellings), a cinema, hospital, major sports and recreational facility, motor racing track, pig farm, poultry farm, shop or supermarket.


When a shipping container does NOT require a planning permit

  • If it is used for grazing animal production.
Mixed Use Zone (MUZ)

When a shipping container requires a planning permit (or is prohibited):

  • If it is a self-contained second dwelling; or
  • if it is a shed on vacant land; or
  • if an overlay applies that requires planning approval; or
  • it is used for a commercial purpose, i.e., a food truck.

When a shipping container does NOT require a planning permit:

If it is associated with an existing dwelling and:

  • if it is a dependent person’s unit; or
  • if it is a shed; or
  • if it is being used as an office for a home based-busines; or
  • if it is a detached extension (i.e. a studio with a bedroom and ensuite).
Commercial 1 Zone (C1Z)

When a shipping container requires a planning permit (or is prohibited):

  • A planning permit will be required for the buildings and works component of the shipping container.

When a shipping container does NOT require a planning permit

  • Not applicable - a planning permit is always required for buildings and works and potentially the use.
Commercial 2 Zone (C2Z)

When a shipping container requires a planning permit (or is prohibited):

  • A planning permit will be required for the buildings and works component of the shipping container.

When a shipping container does NOT require a planning permit

  • Not applicable - a planning permit is always required for buildings and works and potentially the use.

Overlays

Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO)

When a shipping container requires a planning permit (or is prohibited):

  • A permit is required to construct a building or carry out works in the Environmental Significance Overlay unless it is specifically exempted in the schedule (refer below).

When a shipping container does NOT require a planning permit

  • If the land is under Schedule 1 of the Environmental Significance Overlay, a permit is not required for a shipping container if:

    • it is for the use of an outbuilding related to normal farming activities and;
    • less than 100sqm in gross floor area.

    If the land is under Schedule 4 of the Environmental Significance Overlay, a permit is not required for a shipping container if:

    • it is a non-habitable building with less than 100sqm gross floor area.
Significant Landscape Overlay (SLO)

When a shipping container requires a planning permit (or is prohibited):

  • A permit is required to construct a building or carry out works in the Significant Landscape Overlay unless it is specifically exempted in the schedule (refer below)

When a shipping container does NOT require a planning permit

  • If the land is under Schedule 1 of the Significant Landscape Overlay, a permit is not required for a shipping container if:

    - it is for the use of an outbuilding related to normal farming activities; and
    - less than 100sqm in gross floor area; and
    - does not require the removal of any vegetation; and
    - coloured or painted in subdued tones to blend in with the natural environment.

  • If the land is under Schedule 2, 3, 4 or 5 of the Significant Landscape Overlay, a permit is not required for a shipping container if:

- it is an extension to an existing dwelling; and
- it is no more than 5m in height above the natural ground level; and
- it results in no more than 50sqm in total additional floor area.

It is also exempt if

- it is an extension to a building used for agriculture,
- the extension is no more than 100sqm in floor area,
- the total footprint is not more than 200sqm in floor area, and
- the shipping container is no more than 5m in height above the natural ground level.

Heritage Overlay (HO)

Shipping containers will generally require a permit under the Heritage Overlay.

Design and Development Overlay (DDO)

When a shipping container does NOT require a planning permit

If the land is under Schedule 1 of the Design and Development Overlay, a permit is not required for a shipping container if:

  • It is on land above 5m AHD and has a height less than 7m above ground level.
  • It is for a shed or a carport and under 7m in height above ground level.

If the land is under Schedule 2, a permit is not required for a shipping container if:

  • It has a height of less than 4.5m above natural ground level.

If the land is under Schedule 5, a permit is not required for a shipping container if:

  • It has a height of less than 6.83m AHD.

If the land is under Schedule 6, a permit is not required for a shipping container if:

  • It has a height of less than 18.8m AHD.

If the land is under Schedule 7, a permit is not required for a shipping container if:

  • It has a height of less than 31.6m AHD.

If the land is under Schedule 8, a permit is not required for a shipping container if:

  • It has a height of less than 41.6m AHD.

If the land is under Schedule 9, a permit is not required for a shipping container if:

  • The building footprint (including balconies, driveways and paving) is to occupy a maximum 30% of the lot, and 40% of the lot is retained as landscaping.

If the land is under Schedule 10, a permit is not required for a shipping container if:

  • It has a height of less than 9.5m AHD.

If the land is under Schedule 11, a permit is not required for a shipping container if:

  • It is to be used as an outbuilding; and
  • not visible from the street; and
  • has a height of less than 3m; and
  • does not exceed 10sqm in size.
Erosion Management Overlay (EMO)

If the land is under Schedule 1 of the Erosion Management Overlay, a permit is not required for a shipping container if

  • it is for the use of an agricultural outbuilding and;
  • less than 100sqm in gross floor area.
Land Subject to Inundation Overlay (LSIO)

When a shipping container requires a planning permit (or is prohibited):

  • A permit is required to construct a building or carry out works (this includes shipping containers).

When a shipping container does NOT require a planning permit

  • If the land is in a Rural Area (all land in the Farming Zone, Rural Activity Zone, Rural Living Zone and Rural Conservation Zone), a permit is not required for a shipping container if

    - it is an outbuilding associated with the agricultural use of the land, and
    - less than 100sqm in gross floor area.
  • If the land is in any other area (non-rural area), a permit is not required for a shipping container if:

    - It is an extension to an existing dwelling, provided that the proposed floor level is at or above the existing floor level, and the gross floor area of the extension does not exceed 20sqm.

    - It is a non-habitable building, provided that the floor levels are above the applicable levels set by the floodplain management authority, and it is not associated with the use of land for industry or for a public or commercial activity.

    - It is an extension to a non-habitable building, provided that the floor levels are above the applicable levels set by the floodplain management authority, and it is not associated with the use of land for industry or for a public or commercial activity.


NOTE: The relevant floodplain management authority will either be Melbourne Water or West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority. To determine which relevant authority to contact, please refer to this map.



Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO)

When a shipping container requires a planning permit (or is prohibited):

A permit is required to construct a building or carry out works in the Bush fire Management Overlay (including Shipping Containers) if associated with the following uses:

  • Accommodation
  • Education Centre
  • Hospital
  • Industry
  • Leisure and Recreation
  • Office
  • Place of Assembly
  • Retail Premises
  • Service Station
  • Warehouse
  • Timber Production

When a shipping container does NOT require a planning permit

  • A permit is not required for a shipping container if:

    • It is an extension to an existing building used for a dwelling or a dependent person’s unit, and is less than 50% of the gross floor area of the existing building.
    • It is an extension to an existing building (excluding a dwelling and a dependent person’s unit), and is less than 10% of the gross floor area of the existing building.
    • If it has a floor area of less than 100sqm, is not used for accommodation, and is ancillary to a dwelling.
Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO)

When a shipping container requires a planning permit:

If vegetation removal is required to place the shipping container on the land, a planning permit requirement might be triggered.

When a shipping container does NOT require a planning permit

A permit is not required for a shipping container under the Vegetation Protection Overlay, provided that no vegetation removal is required.