A development licence is for the design, construction and modification stages of your building project. They protect the environment by enabling you to minimise risk, so far as reasonably practicable, before building starts.  

When you need a development licence

Apply for a development licence if your industrial or waste management activity is high-risk and you are:  

  • constructing or installing a plant, or equipment for a prescribed development activity  
  • developing processes or systems for a prescribed development activity  
  • modifying (except for general maintenance) plant, equipment, processes or systems for a prescribed development activity.  

Works approvals become development licences  

If you have a current works approval, this will immediately become a development licence under the Act.  

How to apply

You can apply for a development licence online.

For more application support, see How to apply for a licence.

Assessment process

Once you have submitted your development licence application online, here’s what will happen next:  

  1. Your development licence is publicly advertised on this website or Engage Victoria and one other publication. The community can give feedback for at least 15 business days.  
  2. You have the opportunity to resolve any community concerns. We may also host a meeting to help you and members from the community to resolve any issues.  
  3. We will assess your application. Part of this process includes checking against the environmental requirements under section 69(3) of the Act. We will also consider any public comments received and your responses to them.  
  4. If we approve your development licence, proposed conditions will be discussed with you before it is issued. You will also receive a draft development licence, before it is finalised.  
  5. EPA must decide on a complete development licence application within four months of receiving it. However, this timeframe can change if we need additional information to make a decision.  

Appealing a decision

You can appeal to have a decision reviewed by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). This must be within 15 business days. For further information contact VCAT on (03) 9628 9777.  

Send a copy of the appeal to the EPA within seven days of lodgement. Mark this to the attention of the Manager, Development Assessment Unit.


We can grant development licence exemptions for development activities.  

Your obligations when completing your project

On project completion, you need to contact us to arrange an inspection. Once your project passes this inspection, you will receive a letter of completion of works.  

The next phase is usually commissioning, which involves an evaluation of your completed development activity. On completing commissioning period is successfully, you can progress to either an operating licence or a permit.  

Read more


Operating licences

Pilot project licences

Reviewed 1 July 2021