Planning permit post-assessment

After a planning application has been decided

Notification of decision 

Council aims to notify you within three days of an outcome decision.

Should your permit be approved and issued, it is very important that you thoroughly read through the permit and conditions to understand your obligations.

In some cases, permit conditions need to be met before the approved use or development can commence.

Please contact Council if any of the conditions are unclear and you need them explained.

If there are standing objections to your planning application, then Council will only issue a Notice of Decision to Grant a Permit or a Notice of Decision to Refuse a Permit. If no objections are lodged with VCAT, Council will issue the permit after 28 days.

The information below details the Victorian Civil Administration Tribunal (VCAT) process should the applicant or objector choose to appeal Council’s decision.

Victorian Civil Administration Tribunal (VCAT) appeals process

The following provides an overview of the VCAT appeal process.

1. Lodge your appeal

Permit applicants have 60 days from the issue date to lodge an appeal against a Council decision.

Objectors have 28 days from the issue date of Council's Notice of Decision to lodge an appeal.

  • Complete an application for review form, available from the VCAT website
  • Submit the form to VCAT and pay the relevant fee


2. Receive the initiating order

After you lodge your appeal, VCAT will send you an initiating order. This provides important information, including:

  • the date of the hearing
  • details of compulsory conferences or practice day hearings
  • time frames
  • the responsibilities of everyone involved

For more information about the initiating order, contact VCAT.

Compulsory conferences

The initiating order might list a compulsory conference. This is an opportunity for the applicant, objectors and Council to informally discuss concerns and objections to potentially reach an agreement, without a hearing.

Practice day hearing

The initiating order might list a practice day hearing. This aims to resolve procedural issues before a compulsory conference or a merits hearing.


3. Notify objectors

If anyone objected to your planning permit application, they must be notified of the following:

  • appeals that have been lodged
  • sufficient information to understand the nature of the appeal
  • a Statement of Grounds form for the objector to complete if they wish to be involved

For more information about notifying objectors, contact VCAT.

4. Prepare for your hearing

To prepare for a VCAT hearing, you should collate all information to support your case.

If you're an objector, refer to your Statement of Grounds and any panning scheme controls that were considered. Our planning department can advise you of the relevant planning scheme controls and policies.

We recommend you use VCAT templates for your submission. You can access these from the VCAT website.

You can represent yourself or be represented by a professional for the hearing. The planning team are unable to advise you about this.


5. Attending the hearing

Each party only has one opportunity to address the hearing. The hearing will run in the following order:

  • Preliminary discussions
  • Council addresses the hearing
  • Objectors and third parties address the hearing
  • Applicant addresses the hearing
  • Council and objectors have right of reply
  • Council and all parties discuss what conditions VCAT should place on the planning permit, if it's approved

Council’s role at the hearing

Council has two roles at the hearing:

  • inform the VCAT member of the history and details of the planning application
  • make a submission in support of its position


6. VCAT decision

VCAT can either:

  • make a decision at the end of the hearing
  • reserve their decision and issue a written decision within four to six weeks

VCAT’s decision is final and binding to all parties. You have no further right, unless VCAT made a legal mistake in their decision. If there is a legal mistake, then you have the right to appeal to the Supreme Court of Victoria.

For more information about any of the above, call VCAT on 1300 018 228.


Section 173 Agreements

What are Section 173 Agreements?

A Section 173 Agreement is a legal agreement made between Council and the landowner under Section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987. In some cases a third party, such as a referral authority, may also be involved in an agreement.

A Section 173 Agreement is generally required by Council in a planning permit for subdivision of the land where a condition of a planning permit or planning scheme controls are not adequate for particular requirements.

An agreement may provide for:

  • The prohibition, restriction or regulation of the use or development of the land
  • The conditions subject to which the land may be used or developed for specified purposes
  • Any matter intended to achieve or advance the objectives of planning in Victoria or the objectives of the Council planning scheme or an amendment to the planning scheme, for which notice has been given

A Section 173 Agreement may be used:

  • To protect native vegetation
  • To restrict development to within an approved building envelope
  • To ensure development of land is undertaken in accordance with a planning permit
  • To secure off-site vegetation planting to compensate for approved removal of native vegetation
  • To prevent the further subdivision of land
  • To prevent the construction of additional dwellings on a lot
  • To acknowledge nuisance from adjoining uses (such as agriculture)

Always know your obligations and responsibilities under your Section 173 Agreement

It is important that landowners (and their representatives) know whether or not a Section 173 Agreement affects their property, and if so, they understand their obligations under the agreement.

Independent legal advice might need to be sought to gain a full understanding of the Section 173 Agreement.

How to enter into a Section 173 Agreement

Before you apply

Section 173 Agreements are normally prepared by your solicitors. The cost of preparing agreements is met by the applicant.