Over recent weeks, we have been asked about the Town Planning Permit process.
This can be a time consuming part of the process and where projects may end up in VCAT. It is important to consult with council prior to submitting a Town Planning Application to get their feedback on the proposed development, in an attempt to avoid receiving a Request for Further Information, which delays your project.
Below is a brief outline of the process.
The appropriate plans, documentation, photos and reports for your Town Planning Application are prepared. Council has a check list of what is required for an application and there are minor differences from council to council. Your application must also include council’s form and fee.
Once your application has been received by council, they review the documentation and advise (within 28 days) if they require further information. If a Request for Further Information is received, it must be sent to council within their timeframes. At this stage, council may advise that there needs to be design amendments made before they are willing to advertising the application.
When council is satisfied that they have the required information, they will advise that the application is ready to be advertised. Council will provide an A1 advertising sign that must be filled in with information such as the planning application number, the type of application being made and when the advertising period closes. This sign needs to be erected on the site, in a clear and prominent position for a period of 14 days.
Council will arrange for letters to be sent to the neighbours advising of the proposed development, along with copies of the proposed plans. During this period, neighbours may object to the development. They must do this in writing, within the 14 day period and refer to a breach of planning law.
After the advertising period has been completed, council is able to make a decision regarding the application. They take into consideration any objects that have been raised.
If objections have been received, plans may need to be revised, consultative meetings may need to be held and negotiations may need to be had, although this is all dependent on the nature of the objections received by council.
Even if objections are received, council may not require any of the above, they may go ahead and make their decision. It is part of our process to prepare a written report addressing any objections based on legitimate planning issues in order to assist the planner.
Once council has reviewed the application and any objections received from neighbours, they need to make a decision to grant or refuse the town planning permit application. They may issue a Notice of Decision to Grant a Permit (where objections have been received), a Planning Permit or a Refusal to Grant a Permit.
Council may have conditions that need to be adhered to. These conditions will sometime be the mechanism used to address the concerns of any objectors.
This is where the process ends, unless an objection is made to VCAT on the decision made or the conditions imposed.
The Town Planning Permit can be a time consuming part of the development process. It is important to engage with council early to gain the confidence of the planner and support for your project.