Town Planning Process

--- Glen McCulloch

--- Glen McCulloch

This process is based on a best-case scenario. This is subject but not limited to; site constraints, overlays, zoning schedules, council procedures and workload, and other factors. The below outlines the major milestones and processes, where other factors are done behind the scenes. This is not projected specific and is for general use only.

STEP 1 – Design Brief

  • Feature Survey is ordered – Surveyors will be on site to provide measurements and site details.
  • Clients meet the Design Manager to discuss the site and conduct a design brief to understand the client better, to achieve their needs and wants.
  • A preliminary design was drawn up and sent to the client for feedback and approval. The client is to sign off on the plans to proceed with the design, or the team will make changes.

STEP 2 – Town Planning Application

  • Based on signed plans, the town planning documentation will be prepared for submission to the Council.
  • Electronic copies will be provided to the client for review.
  • Plans are submitted to the Council.

STEP 3 – Council Stages

  • Council provides formal acknowledgment of the application documents. The application is then allocated to a Council Town Planner.
  • Council may request changes or additional information which needs to be addressed.
  • Items will be addressed, and a copy of the amended plans will be pro A discussion with the client will be held prior to submission back to Council.

STEP 4 – Advertising

  • After the Council’s preliminary assessment, Council will advise if the project can move forth to advertising. This does not necessarily mean that the Council will support the application.
  • Advertising allows members of the public, usually neighbours, to object to or support the proposal of this application.
  • A sign will be erected at the front of the property and will be erected for at least 14 days. Council will also advise neighbours via mail. Most councils will undertake this work for an additional fee.
  • After advertising concludes, Council will advise us if there are any objections and will provide copies of the objection letter(s).
  • If there are objections, depending on the circumstances, a mediation meeting may be held by the Council. Council may also arrange for the application to be tabled at a Council meeting, where Councillors and/or council officers will determine the application.
  • If there are no objections, the Council will usually make a final decision in the following 3-4 weeks.

STEP 5 – Permit

  • If the Council decides to grant a permit where no objections have been lodged, the Permit will be granted immediately.
  • If the Council decides to grant a permit where objections have been received, a Notice of Decision will be a grant. Means the Council to support this application, although objectors will have 28 days to appeal the decision at VCAT.
  • After 28 days, VCAT will advise whether any appeals have been made.
  • If no appeals are made, a permit will be issued by the Council.
  • If an appeal is lodged with VCAT, the application will be deferred to a VCAT hearing at a later date. All parties will be able to make submissions at the VCAT hearing.
  • VCAT will make a decision after it has heard all the evidence and submissions.
  • If VCAT decides to support our proposal, it will issue an order directing the Council to grant a permit.

STEP 6 – Permit with Conditions

  • The Permit will have conditions to which needs to be complied with, which can sometimes include requirements for monetary contributions to be paid.
  • Usually, Condition 1 on the Permit outlines the requirements to be met before the plans being endorsed.
  • Once all the required conditions are met, the plans are submitted back to Council for endorsement (stamping & signing)
  • Receiving the endorsed drawings will conclude the Town Planning process.
  • At this point, the planning permission can be acted on.