Stages of Town Planning Permit Application

The seven stages of town planning permit as follows :
1- Research
2- Preparation & Submission of the application
3- Council checks the application
4- Public notification
5- Council assesses the application and prepares a report
6- Decision
7- Review by VCAT ( if required)

1- RESEARCH

It is important to find out exactly what planning controls apply to your property and it is important to discuss them with your Local Council planner.
Each property has a set of planning controls that specify when a planning permit is needed. To find out what controls apply to your property you can:

– Purchase a planning certificare
– View planning scheme maps online
– Undertaking Planning Assessment.

2- PREPARATION & SUBMISSION OF THE APPLICATION

At this stage, You have to complete the following information and requirements below :
The information that needs to be included will vary depending on what permit is required. However, generally they include:
– An application for a planning permit form
– A lodgement fee
– A description of what the permit is for
– Estimated costs of the works
– A current Certificate of Title
– Copies of Architectural plans and any other additional information

3- COUNCIL CHECKS THE APPLICATION

At this stage, The planning officers at you local council will check the application to make sure everything has been filled in correctly and all the required information has been included.
If more information is needed, The planning officer will contact the applicant to complete the application.
The application may also be referred to other internal departments, such as engineering or heritage advisers, or external agencies such as Melbourne Water or VicRoads.
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If the application needs to be referred, please allow for extra time.

4- PUBLIC NOTIFICATION

The Victorian planning system is set up to ensure that you have a chance to comment on a planning permit that may affect you, before a decision is made.
The council planner will decide if and how public notification needs to be given.
This could take the form of:

-Direct mail notification ( letters will be sent out to the neighbours )
-On-site signage ( advertising board )
-Advertisements in the local newspaper ( If required )

If public notification is required, it must be carried out for a period of at least 14 consecutive days.
During this period, and up to the time when a decision is made, a person can make a submission either in support or objection to the proposed permit.
Anyone can lodge an objection to a planning permit application, and Council must consider all objections when assessing the application.

5- COUNCIL ASSESSESS THE APPLICATION & PREPARES A REPORT

If public notification is required, after the advertising period, if there are minimum number of objections from the community a planning officer will assess the application and make a decision.
If Council receives maximum number of objections a consultation meeting will be held to provide an opportunity for the objectors, Ward Councillors and the applicant to discuss any concerns.
It is a good idea to look at ways that the applicant may be able to compromise with the objectors through amending your proposal or agreeing to certain conditions on your permit. This may occasionally lead to people actually withdrawing their objections.
The council officers then prepare a report that outlines:

– The proposal
– The relevant policies and planning scheme requirements
– The assessment process
– Objections or referral comments.

They then make a recommendation and Councillors will make the final decision.

6- DECISION

Approval- If there are no objections, Council can issue a permit immediately.
Notice of Decision- If Council want to approve the application, and there minimum number of objections, Council 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 they wish.

If no objectors lodge a review with VCAT during this time, Council will grant the permit. Similarly, if the applicant is unhappy with any of the proposed permit conditions, they can also apply to VCAT within the 60 days 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. If you wish to challenge the refusal, the applicant have 60 days to apply for a review at VCAT.

7- REVIEW BY VCAT

If the applicant or the objector is unhappy with Council’s decision with regard to a planning permit, The applicant or objector can lodge an appeal with VCAT. This includes:
– Objecting to the granting of a permit
– Objecting to a refusal of a permit
– Objecting to the conditions placed on a permit/or lack of conditions

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