Planning permit application decisions and appeals

When assessing a planing permit application, we first consider any objections that have been raised.

We may hold public information sessions or a consultation meeting to bring together applicants and objectors.

Our planning officers then prepare a report which outlines the proposal, the relevant policies and planning scheme requirements, the assessment process, and objections or referral comments. In this proposal, they make a recommendation. 

Who makes the decision? 

Depending on the nature of the application, and the number of objections received, a decision is made by:

  • A senior council planner under delegation
  • The Development Approvals Panel (a committee of senior planning officers), or
  • The Planning Decisions Committee (formerly called the Internal Development Approvals Committee)

Types of decisions

  • Approval: If there are no objections, Council can issue a planning permit immediately.
  • Notice of Decision: If Council wants to approve the application, but there are objections, it must issue a Notice of Decision to Grant a Permit. All objectors will be sent this notice and will have 21 days to lodge an application for review at VCAT. If no objectors lodge a review with VCAT during this time, council will grant the planning permit. Similarly if the applicant is unhappy with any of the proposed permit conditions, they can also apply to VCAT to have the conditions reviewed.
  • Refusal: Council can decide to refuse a permit, even if there were no objections to it. If a permit is refused, a ‘Refusal to Grant a Permit’ notice will be issued that will detail why the permit has been refused. This will be sent to the applicant and all other parties who commented on the application.

Appealing a decision 

If you wish to challenge the refusal you have 60 days to apply for a review at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).