A Council Planner will prepare a report (generally called a delegate report) which describes:
- the proposal
- the relevant policies and planning scheme requirements
- the assessment process
- any submissions and referral comments, and the response to them.
The Planner will make a recommendation about whether or not a planning permit should be granted. They have to judge how well a proposal meets policy objectives in the Planning Scheme, and they may have to strike a balance between competing objectives.
Who makes the decision?
A planning application is usually determined:
- under delegation by Council Planners,
- via a meeting of the Planning and Consultation Committee, or
- by VCAT
The decision-making process is different if your application is assessed as a VicSmart application. VicSmart applications aren’t advertised, the assessment time is shorter and the decision is made by Council Planners under delegation.
After undertaking a final assessment and preparing a delegate report, Council will make one of three types of decisions:
1. Issue a planning permit
If your planning permit application is successful you will be issued with a planning permit.
If your permit is granted with conditions, your proposal can only go ahead if all conditions are met.
Sometimes the conditions require changes to the plans before we will endorse the plans as part of the permit. For example, a permit for a restaurant might be issued on the condition that a certain number of car-parking spaces are provided.
Once all conditions are met, you can commence your land development or use project.
2. Issue a Notice of Decision to grant a permit
If there are objections to your planning permit application then we can only issue a Notice of Decision.
The Notice of Decision is not a planning permit. It is a legal notice that states that we support the application if the land use or development meets certain conditions.
These conditions are explained on the notice. All concerned parties (the applicant and any objectors) will receive a copy of the notice.
3. Issue a Notice of Decision to refuse to grant a permit
If we consider that the land development or use proposed in the planning permit application is not acceptable, we may refuse to issue a planning permit.
The reasons for the refusal will be listed in the Notice of Refusal.
All concerned parties (the applicant and any objectors) will receive a copy of the notice.
Most planning permits are issued with conditions.
Check the conditions carefully and note any that must be complied with before the use or development commences. If you do not fully understand the conditions, please talk to a Council Planner.
For example, amended plans may be required or there may be a condition requiring a landscape plan to be prepared and approved by Council.
You can’t act on the permit until your specific conditions have been met and the plans have been endorsed by Council.
If you need to, you can submit your plans to satisfy permit conditions using our online portal.
Check your permit expiry date
Most permits expire two years from the date of issue, however, specified times might be included as a condition of the permit.
Satisfying permit conditions
If your permit is issued with conditions, you may need to submit amended plans to satisfy those conditions.
Appealing a decision
If you are unhappy with a decision, or you are unhappy with any of the conditions placed on your permit, you have the option to appeal the decision via VCAT.
You must lodge your appeal within 60 days if you are the applicant, or within 28 days if you are an objector.
Making changes to your permit
If your permit has been approved but you need to make changes, you may be able to request an amendment to an approved planning permit.
The Victorian Government's Planning website has more information about the assessment and decision process.