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Planning Process

Our Planning Process page provides a guide to Banyule's planning processes.

More information on Victoria's planning system and processes can be found on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website

You may also find our frequently asked questions helpful.

  1. Pre-application lodgement and document preparation
  2. Application lodgement
  3. Initial assessment by Council
  4. Advertising of application
  5. Detailed assessment by Council
  6. Application decided
  7. Appeal (Review) of decision by the tribunal

1. Pre-application lodgement and document preparation

In preparing a planning proposal we suggest you contact our planning counter at the Greensborough Customer Service Centre. One of our planning officers will assist you to understand the site specific constraints that the proposal may need to address and any historical planning information that may affect any planning application that is lodged.

We advise you to consider the following before lodging an application:  

  • Confirm if a planning permit is required and make sure that what you plan to do is not prohibited.
  • Find out which Planning Scheme provisions Council will use to assess the application by clicking here.
  • Find out whether Council is likely to support the proposal and discuss changes that may be necessary to make the proposal more acceptable.
  • Consider getting professional advice. This will help you determine the type and details of information you will need to submit with an application and develop your ideas so they meet Council's expectations and your objectives.

2. Application lodgement

All applications for planning permits are now to be lodged online. When lodging an application for a planning permit the following information will be required to be submitted in an electronic format:

  • A complete an application for a planning permit.
  • Payment of the relevant planning application fee/s.
  • Copy of title generated within 30 days of lodging the application for each lot to which the application is related.
  • Reports, plans and photographs as identified within the relevant planning checklist.

Once an application is lodged, it will be registered and allocated to a planning officer who will be responsible for the application progress.

The application is a public document and is available for inspection at Council offices to enable people who may be affected by the proposal to understand what is proposed. Copies of plans may also be made available during the advertising period.

3. Initial assessment by Council

Council officers undertake an initial assessment of the application to determine if there has been adequate information provided. During this point suggestions may be provided to adjust the proposal if deemed appropriate in considering applicable policies and standards. Referral of the application to the relevant Council departments and external authorities (i.e. VicRoads or Melbourne Water) will occur during this phase if required.

4. Advertising of application

If the planning scheme specifically states that advertising is not required, or if Council is satisfied that the application will not have a negative impact or cause material detriment to any person, the application will not be advertised.

If formal advertising is required, Council will issue a written direction to advertise the application. This will only occur once all the required information is provided and a preliminary assessment has been undertaken.

Neighbours are usually notified of the permit application by letter. A notice may also be required to be displayed on the site and in some situations placed in the local newspaper. Council will conduct the notification of surrounding properties for the payment of a fee.

Council must consider all submissions and objections received as a result of the notification process and will accept and consider all objections up until the time a decision is made.

If objections have been received an informal consultation meeting may be organised to discuss concerns among interested parties. The relevant Ward Councillor may also be invited to attend. The purpose of a consultation meeting is to understand conflicting views, identify issues and to potentially agree on solutions.

5. Detailed assessment by council

The Council planning officer carries out a detailed assessment of the application, undertakes a site visit, hold consultation meetings (if appropriate), may negotiate re-design if appropriate (potentially requiring re-advertising) and prepares a detailed report encompassing:

  • The proposal details and plans;
  • Relevant policies and planning scheme requirements;
  • Objections and referral comments internal from Council and also externally (where required) with responses to each.

Once the report has been produced a recommendation about whether or not a planning permit should be granted is prepared. The Council planner has to judge how well a proposal meets policy objectives in the planning scheme, and they may have to strike a balance between competing objectives.

6. Application decided

Applications can be decided upon in two ways:

  • Council officers decide on the application under delegation.
  • Councillors decide on the application during a formal meeting of Council. If this is to occur applicants and objectors will receive an invitation to the meeting.

The following is a list of the types of decisions that can be issued depending on the circumstances and history of the application:

  • Permit - If Council is in support of the proposal and no objections have been received or all the objections received have been unconditionally withdrawn: A Permit is issued to the applicant and all external referral authorities (if applicable) and includes the conditions imposed.
  • Notice of Decision – If Council is in support of the proposal and objections have been received: A Notice of Decision is issued to all parties involved, including objectors and includes the conditions imposed.
  • Refusal – If Council is not in support of the proposal: A Refusal to grant a permit is issued. The refusal notice is sent to all parties involved, including objectors and includes the grounds for refusal.

If a permit is granted, all of the permit conditions must be complied with. Check the conditions very carefully and note any that must be complied with before the use or development commences.

For example, amended plans may be required, or there may be a condition requiring a landscape plan to be prepared and approved by council. You cannot act on the permit until these conditions have been satisfied and the plans have been endorsed. If a permit condition is unacceptable, you have 60 days from the date the permit was issued, or the Notice of Decision to Grant a Permit was given, to apply for a review.

7. Appeal (Review) of decision by the tribunal

A decision made by Council is final, though there are occasions in which applicants wish to pursue a review of Council’s decision through the Victorian Administrative and Civil Tribunal (VCAT):

  • Due to a Refusal being issued;
  • A condition applied to a permit;
  • The failure of Council to decide the application within 60 Statutory days.

When a Notice of Decision (NoD) has been issued by Council for an application

  • An application for review may be lodged within 21 days of the NoD issue date by one or multiple objector(s) or referral authorities.
  • If VCAT confirms that no application has been lodged within 21 days, Council will issue the permit. If an objector lodges an application for review within 21 days of the notice being given, council cannot issue the permit. The application will be decided by VCAT.

A review hearing involves the Council, objectors and the applicant presenting their cases to VCAT.

VCAT will make the final decision after the appeal hearing and will provide written reasons to all those who have been involved in the appeal. Council will be directed to implement VCAT’s decision.

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