• VCAT

May 3, 2024

Insider tips – the post lodgement steps within council to approval.

Planner Allocation.

Within 1 – 2 weeks of lodging your application, it will be allocated internally to a town planner who becomes your point of contact. You will usually receive a letter or email from council advising you of their contact details. Allocations will depend on a combination of the complexity of the application and resources available within council.

Request for Further Information.

Your allocated council planner will request any information they require to complete their assessment within 28 days of your application being lodged. This request will typically be on a formal council letterhead and it may also identify any concerns your planner has with the proposal. Your response to this letter should provide the information and resolve the concerns.


The application will be referred internally to council departments such as traffic engineers or arborists for specialist comments. Internal referrals will only be done to departments relevant to the application assessment. External referrals to stakeholder agencies such as the EPA will also occur at this stage if there is a trigger for a referral. Any concerns from these departments may need to be resolved for approval to issue. There maybe no referrals required for simple development applications. Internal


The application will undergo a 14 day advertising period where members of the public can make submissions or objections to the proposal that are considered by council in the decision making process. Some minor applications are exempt from this step.


Your allocated planner will complete a report and issue a decision. A part of the decision documents will include information about how appeals against the decision can be lodged at VCAT. The elected councillors can ‘call in‘ an application, essentially retracts the delegation and reinstates the councillors as the decision maker instead of the planning department. In this scenario the vote of the councillors forms the decision.