Lodging a Submission to an Application
Anyone who believes they may be detrimentally affected by a planning permit application is entitled to lodge a submission to the proposal.
Submissions should be lodged within fourteen days from the start of the advertising period, however, late submissions can be lodged at any time prior to the decision being made. Submissions must be in writing, legible, include your name and address and must also state how you think the proposal will affect you.
Submissions can be lodged by post, fax, email or in person:
Wellington Shire Council
PO Box 506, Sale Vic 3850
Fax: 03 5142 3501
Guidelines for Submissions
You may still provide a submission to an application, even if you are not formally notified, as long as you have valid grounds. All submissions received are made available for public inspection during the entire application process.
If you lodge an submission, you will be notified of the decision we make on the application.
A submission must:
- State the reason for your objection/support.
- State how you would be affected if a permit is granted if lodging an objection.
Council may reject an objection that it considers has been made primarily to secure or maintain a direct or indirect commercial advantage for the objector. In this case, the objection will not be considered.
Please note submissions are not confidential. As required by Section 57 of the Planning and Environment Act, Council must make a copy of every submission available to any person to inspect, free of charge, during business hours.
Guide for Objectors
A public notice is mailed to you when someone has applied for a planning permit to develop and/or use a property near you and Council has determined that the development may cause material detriment to you as an adjoining landowner by the granting of a permit. For example, if someone wants to build units near your property, you may be mailed a public notice to let you know what is proposed.
In addition, a sign displaying the public notice is often erected on the subject site. This sign is erected for a minimum of 14 days. The public notice describes what is being planned and where you can go to look at the plans. It is always a good idea to go and physically look at the plans to fully inform yourself about the proposal.
Yes. Your objection must be in writing and clearly state the reasons for your objection and how you will be affected if a planning permit is granted. Your objection must include your name and postal details for the objection to be considered and to enable Council to contact you.
Objections should state exactly how the proposal will affect you and should relate to matters relevant to the proposed use or development which may include:
- Negative changes to the amenity or character of your property or the area; and
- Non-compliance with the Planning Scheme, including State and Local Policies and ‘ResCode’. (Clause 54 and 55 of the Wellington Planning Scheme).
It is often a good idea to include any suggestions for changes which might overcome your concerns.
You should be aware that Council’s consideration of some applications is limited. For example, if a proposal requires a planning permit because the property is affected by only a Heritage Overlay, Council is limited to considering heritage matters and cannot consider matters relating to amenity such as overlooking or overshadowing. It is therefore important to know exactly why the proposal needs a permit.
There are also some matters which Council cannot consider under planning legislation and policy such as a perceived decrease in the value of a property as a result of a proposed development and/or use.
The planning application is usually advertised for a minimum of 14 days. The date on the public notice tells you when the advertising period finishes. Council Officers cannot make a decision on the application until completion of the Notice period.
Objections should be lodged within the Notice period although late objections will still be considered if a decision has not yet been made. It is important to be aware that the later the submission the more difficult it becomes to ensure that your objection is fully considered.
No, to be a valid objection, it must contain your name and address. Council also needs your name and address to keep you informed on the progress of the application and to advise you of Council's decision. In some circumstances, objectors are invited to attend a consultation meeting and we need to be able to contact you.
Yes. Objections become public documents so this information is available to any person who wishes to view the Council file. Council also provides copies of the objections to an applicant if requested.
Once Council has received a planning application it must process that application in accordance with the Planning and Environment Act 1987. Council is obliged to consider the application having regard to the Planning Scheme.
Council cannot reject an application simply because of the number of objections. It must base its decision on policy and planning considerations, which may be informed by the response of others to an application, whether favourable or not.
At the end of the advertising period, Council will consider whether a consultation meeting should be held before the application is considered further.
These meetings are not held for every application; it depends on whether it is likely that some agreement may be reached between the parties or there is some other benefit likely to flow from having such a meeting (i.e. the sharing of information).
If a consultation meeting is required, Council invites the applicant and any objectors to this meeting.
The meeting provides a forum where discussions about the proposal can occur between the parties with a view to identifying concerns, possible means of addressing concerns and opportunities to improve outcomes for all participants in the process. This meeting is chaired by an independent arbitrator. The planner responsible for the application and the Manager of Land Use Planning will also attend this meeting. It is not compulsory to attend this meeting.
Planning Officers have delegated authority from Council under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to consider planning permit applications and grant planning permits if appropriate.
If Council Officers support the application and no objections have been received a planning permit will be issued. The permit will contain a number of conditions including a time limit for the commencement and completion of the use and/or development.
If Council Officers support the application and objections have been received, a “Notice of Decision” will be issued. This is not a planning permit but indicates all the conditions which would form part of the planning permit if it was issued.
An objector has 21 days from the date of issue on the Notice of Decision to lodge an Application for Review against Council's decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) if they choose. If an Application for Review is not lodged, VCAT will notify Council a planning permit may be issued after the 21-day period has expired.
If Council Officers do not support the application, a Notice of Refusal will be issued which includes the mreasons for the refusal. An applicant has 60 days to lodge an Application of Review with VCAT against Council's decision. Conditions on a permit may also be appealed by the applicant.
Yes. If you do not agree with Council's Notice of Decision you can lodge an Application for Review with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). Objectors have 21 days to lodge an Application for Review. The applicant has 60 days to lodge an Application for Review.
Your Application for Review must be lodged with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) on an official form and sent to the Registrar of Planning List. The person lodging the Application for Review is responsible for notifying all other parties that an Application for Review has been lodged.
You will pay a fee at the time you lodge the Application for Review. Other parties to an Application for Review normally bear their own costs. Costs may be ordered against the person who lodged the Application for Review if the tribunal considers the proceedings have been brought:
- Vexatiously or frivolously;
- In order to secure or maintain a direct or indirect commercial advantage; and
- That someone has suffered as a result.
An Application for Review is heard by one or more members of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) who have experience and expertise in the matter to be heard. Decisions made by VCAT are final and are binding on all parties to the appeal, except where a question of law is involved and an appeal is sought before a court.
For Further Information about VCAT please contact our Planning Facilitator or go to the following website: http://www.vcat.vic.gov.au/adv/disputes/planning-and-environment.