• VCAT

February 2, 2019

Planning permit checklist: preparing for planning approval

The planning process can seem daunting. It is hard to know where to start and exactly what to expect. Having a professional town planner to guide you through the process will no doubt make it a much more seamless and stress free experience.

The first step is preparing you planning application.  

Find out about the planning rules in your area and understand what the requirements are.  

Talk to your neighbours to get their feedback. This will make it a lot easier and minimises hostility when they are notified about the application by council later.

Talk to a professional town planner who will be able to give you advice about your development and manage the application for you.

What do you need to lodge an application?

Depending on the type of application and the council you are applying to the application requirements will differ. However in general you will need the following as a minimum:   

  • Application form 
  • Design response plans drawn by an architect
  • Up to date property title 
  • Town planning report addressing the relevant planning provisions  
  • Council application fee

The next step is lodging your planning application. This process can be lengthily and seem complicated but it can be broken down into four simple steps.

STEP 1 – The application is lodged with the council and assigned to a town planner. Within 28 days of being assigned the town planner may write to request further information or request to amend aspects of the design that they would like to see changed. This happens in most planning applications.

STEP 2 – Once the town planner is satisfied with the further information response the application is advertised for a minimum of 14 days. A sign is usually erected on the site for the duration which outlines what the development application is for. Council also notifies the neighbours and gives them the opportunity to object.

STEP 3 – It is then time for council to make their decision. This includes assessing the design against the planning scheme, taking into account any objections and comments from referral authorities like Vicroads and negotiating with the permit applicant regarding any changes they would like.

STEP 4 – The council then issue there decision which will either be a planning permit, a notice of decision or a refusal. A planning permit usually has around twenty to forty conditions attached to it.

If there have been objections to the development then the council will issue a notice of decision to grant a permit. This gives objectors 28 days to apply to VCAT if they wish. If no application to VCAT is made then the permit will be sent to you after the 28 days.

If the council refuse the application or if you are unhappy with some of the condition of the permit you have 60 days to appeal the decision at VCAT. 

The planning permit forms only part of your planning approval. You must respond to all of the conditions outlined in the permit in your design response and send back to the council. Once the council are satisfied that your design response has met all the conditions of the permit they will endorse the plans and there you have it, you’re planning approval.