VicSmart - proposed changes to the planning permit process

The Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI) is seeking feedback on a proposal to introduce a new planning permit process across Victoria.  

The proposed system, called VicSmart, would apply to “straightforward low impact” planning permit applications.

Under the VicSmart process:

  • Planning decisions would be made within 10 days 
  • Planning applications would be exempt from advertising
  • The Council CEO or delegate would decide the application
  • An applicant would have a right of review to VCAT if there is disagreement about whether the decision guidelines have been met.

To read more about the VicSmart process, visit the Department of Planning and Community Development website.

Council has prepared a submission to DTPLI to provide feedback on the proposed changes. 

Council recognises some positive aspects to VicSmart, but is concerned that a number of proposed changes could impact upon its ability to thoroughly consider planning applications.

Council’s concerns include:

  • That VicSmart removes the ability of Council to request further information for an application. This could result inaccurate plans being approved, an increased number of refusals if Council is unclear about the proposal, and increased VCAT appeals. Council has recommended that information requirements for VicSmart applications be mandatory and that Council can formally request further information from the applicant.

  • The 10 day timeframe to determine an application is too short and may not allow adequate time to consider the complexities of an application or to seek advice about issues such as heritage, car parking reductions or removal of trees. Council has recommended that the timeframe be increased to 15 working days, and that a cap be placed on a reduction of car parking spaces that be considered as part of this process.

  • Council’s feedback also acknowledges the successful Fast Track process established by Council three years ago that would need to be phased out should the VicSmart process be introduced.  Applications submitted under Council’s Fast Track process are assessed within 15 working days.

A copy of Council’s complete submission appears below:
pdf format Yarra Council submission to VicSmart planning process (144.43 KB)

Further information:
Mary Osman
Manager – Statutory Planning
9205 5334

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