Attending the Planning Decisions Committee as an objector

The Planning Decisions Committee Committee has the delegated authority to make a decision on all applications for planning permits that are referred to it. 

The purpose of a Planning Decisions Committee meeting is for the committee to hear from all parties to assist them making its decision (resolution) on the planning application. 

If you are attending the Planning Decisions Committee as an objector, the following information may be helpful. 

Planning Decisions Committee meeting format

The chairperson will explain the proceedings at the start of each agenda item. 

  1. For each item on the agenda, all parties relevant to the application (the permit applicant and objectors) will be invited by the chairperson to come forward and make a submission.
  2. The chairperson will then invite council planning officers to provide a brief (5 minute) overview of the application, including: the proposal and relevant policy in the Yarra Planning Scheme, the officer’s assessment and the officer’s recommendation.
  3. The permit applicant is invited to provide a brief (5 minute) overview of the application and to provide any new information not covered by the council planning officers
  4. The chairperson advises all objectors on the next steps:
    - This can depend on the number of objectors wishing to make a submission.
    - The chairperson may hear all submissions and then ask the permit applicant and/or council officers for a response or the chairperson may invite each objector to make a submission (5 minutes) and at the end of each submission ask questions of the permit applicant or for a response from council officers.

Limiting all parties to 5 minutes speaking time allows the meeting to run efficiently and effectively. 

Some agendas are large (with 6+ items on it) and can last several hours. 

Making a verbal submission

As an objector attending the Planning Decisions Committee you are encouraged to use your 5 minute verbal submission to:

  • summarise your main issues / concerns
  • raise any matters that you feel should be considered by the committee in reaching a decision, and
  • suggest any modifications to the application or to the officer’s recommendation that would go some way to alleviate aspects of the application that you are most concerned about, in the event that a planning permit is approved.

We do not recommend reading from your objection letter during your verbal submission, and avoid discussing at length other issues already raised by objectors in their submissions.

If you are presenting any new information to the committee (including information that you did not include in your objection letter and has not been considered in the officer report) it is important for you to say this at the meeting.

Throughout the meeting it is expected that all parties in attendance are respectful of each other in the way that they speak, behave and conduct themselves. 

What do I need to bring? 

The committee prepares for the Planning Decisions Committee meeting by reading the officer report which includes a summary of all issues and concerns raised in the objection letters. Hard copies of all objections are kept on the relevant planning file, which council planning officers bring to the meeting.

Therefore, you do not need to bring a copy of your objection letter or read directly from it. You just need to talk to the main issues and concerns that you have on the application and how the proposed development impacts you.

If you wish to distribute items to the committee at the meeting to clarify or assist you in your 5 minute verbal submission, please bring at least six hard copies.