Access to Planning Files

PlanningCouncil is committed to delivering a high quality service, whilst also complying with the legislative requirements that govern the Urban Planning Branch.

Closed planning files are made available to the public at the Urban Planning Branch during office hours - 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday at Richmond Town Hall, 333 Bridge Rd, Richmond.

A closed planning file is one where the application for permit has been determined and rights of review were either not pursued or exhausted - following either the grant or refusal of a permit.

On a closed planning file, you will be able to access the planning permit decision, endorsed plans, the officer’s report, a VCAT decision (if the planning permit was determined by VCAT) and any internal referrals related to the planning application.

In accordance with the Information Privacy Act (2000), on a closed planning file, Council officers cannot provide any information that contains personal information.

To request access to a closed file, you can phone the Urban Planning Branch’s Customer Service Planning number on 9205 5373 or make a request in person at the Richmond Town Hall.

It may take up to five days to access the file. The length of time is dependent on whether the file is stored on or off site. You will need to contact the Customer Service Planning Unit to find out when the file will be available.

Charges will be applicable for any copying of documents.

Access to planning files protocol

Context
When accessing and providing information for the public, it is necessary to consider Section 51 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, which states:

“The responsible authority must make a copy of every application and the prescribed information supplied in respect of it available at its office for any person to inspect during office hours free of charge until:

(a) The end of the latest period during which an application for review may be made under section 77, 79, 80 or 82 in relation to the application or the permit; or

(b) If an application for review is made to the Tribunal within that period, the application is determined by the Tribunal or withdrawn.”

Open/Current Files
A file is considered open/current until:

  • 60 days after issuing a permit or refusal
  • it is withdrawn
  • the matter is subject to review at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), or a decision is made by VCAT.

All information can be viewed and photocopied by the public from an open/current file, which includes the:

  • Application form
  • Certificate of Title
  • Advertised Plans (Provided they are stamped with the statement indicating that the plans are for use in the assessment of the application only)
  • Reports and other submissions (Provided they are stamped with the statement indicating that the plans are for use in the assessment of the application only); eg. traffic, heritage, open space reports etc.
  • Notice of Decision, Permit or Refusal
  • Signed delegate or Council report
  • Objections.

Closed files
When accessing and providing information for the public, it is necessary to consider Section 70 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, which states:

“The responsible authority must make a copy of every permit that it issues available at its office for inspection by any person during office hours free of charge.”

Subject to the provisions of the Information Privacy Act 2000, information that can be viewed and copied from a closed file before 11 May 2004 is:

  • Permit or Refusal
  • Signed delegate or Council report
  • VCAT Decision
  • Planner’s submission to VCAT
  • Endorsed Plans
  • Objectors may obtain a copy of their own objection from a closed file by providing identification. In the case of an objection submitted by a company or organisation, a written request from the organisation will be sufficient (eg. on company letterhead)
  • A copy of plans to property owners (with appropriate identification) where the development has been completed (ie. where they want to obtain the plans to enable them to get plans for an extension/alteration drawn up).

Subject to the provisions of the Information Privacy Act 2000, information that can be viewed and copied from a closed file after 11 May 2004 is:

  • Permit or Refusal
  • Internal Reports
  • signed delegate or Council report
  • VCAT Decision
  • planners submission to VCAT
  • Endorsed Plans
  • Objectors may obtain a copy of their own objection from a closed file by providing identification. In the case of an objection submitted by a company or organisation, a written request from the organisation will be sufficient (eg. on company letterhead)
  • A copy of plans to property owners (with appropriate identification) where the development has been completed (ie. where they want to obtain the plans to enable them to get plans for an extension/alteration drawn up).

Once a file is deemed closed, the Information Privacy Act 2000 and Freedom of Information Act 1982 shall apply to the management and access.

A Freedom of Information request will be required to be lodged in order to access or gain copies of any other information from a file, however any document which contains personal information such as a name, address, telephone numbers, email addresses may be subject to protection under the Information Privacy Act 2000.



Planning Branch 
9205 5373
info@yarracity.vic.gov.au

 


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