How long will my planning application take?

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We process planning permit applications as quickly as possible and we're mindful of the time and financial pressures that applicants are often under.

Each application is unique so it is difficult to give specific timelines for how long it will take to make a decision on your application.

The more steps that the application needs to pass through, the longer the assessment will take.  

Most delays are caused by insufficient or inadequate information being provided with an application. To ensure all matters are adequately addressed it is advisable for applicants to seek either independent advice from qualified people or arrange a pre-application meeting with one of Council's planners before lodging an application.

Step 1 - Acknowledgement and Fee Advice

Once you have lodged your application we will be in touch with you to acknowledge receipt of your application and to advise you of the application fee amount. 

Once payment has been received your application will be allocated to a planner who will work with you on your application.

We aim to ensure that all applications are acknowledged and fees requested within 2 business days of receipt.


Step 2 - Preliminary Assessment

During the Preliminary Assessment stage our planners will review your application in accordance with the planning scheme as well as policies and guidelines.

If your proposal does not require a permit or is prohibited, we will be in contact to explain and provide you with the opportunity to withdraw the application and have the fee refunded.

We aim to ensure that all applications take no more than 12 days to move through this stage. Your planner will contact you directly if there is any concerns in relation to us meeting this timeframe. 


Step 3 - Request for Further Information

As part of the preliminary assessment your planner will check that they have all the information they need to properly assess your proposal.

Not all application require further information to be requested. To best avoid a request for further information, use our application checklist or request a pre-application meeting before you lodge

If further information is required, your planner will contact you in writing clearly outlining what is required and why. It is important to note that your application will not progress until this information has been received.  You will generally have 28 days from the date requested for you to collate and return information requested.

If you do not provide the requested information by the due date, your application will lapse and we will be unable to assess it any further.  In this case you will need to lodge a new planning permit application including fee payment.

If you receive a request for further information and wish to discuss any of the details or need more time to provide the information, please contact your planner immediately.

We aim to ensure that all requests for further information are made no more than 3 days after our Preliminary Assessment has been made. 


Step 4 - Referral to relevant advisors and external authorities

As part of the preliminary assessment your planner may also be required, under the Indigo Planning Scheme, to refer your application to one or more referral authorities. The Statutory Referral Authority can:- 

  • Offer comments or footnotes to be included on any Planning Permit issued;
  • Require relevant conditions to be placed on any Planning Permit issued;
  • Request that Council refuse the application based on grounds as specified by the Referral Authority.

In addition, your planner may also refer your application to relevant advisors to seek opinions or comments on an application that is considered to have relevance to the selected authority such as internal Council Departments. 

Generally, we are unable to refer your application until all requests for further information have been received. 

Once we have all the information we require to properly refer your application we will aim to refer your application to the relevant parties within 3 business days. 

A final assessment is not possible until all statutory referral responses have been received.  A referral authority is expected to provide its response within 28 days.


Step 5 - Advertising your Application

Council must “give notice” of the application if the council determines that the proposal may cause material detriment to another person or if the planning scheme specifies that notice must given.  Depending on the size and intensity of the proposed use or development, notice may be given by:

  • Mailing information to property owners or occupiers who may be affected by the proposal;
  • Placing a sign on the site of your property
  • Advertising your planning application online

If it is determined your application required advertising, your planner will contact you in writing clearly outlining the process and advising you of the fee.

Please note that fee will need to be paid prior to your application going on notice. 

Council cannot make a decision on the application until at least 14 days after the last notice has been given.

Objections and submission of support

In response to the public notice of the planning application, a member of the public may make a submission to the council objecting to or supporting the proposal and outlining the reasons for their objection or support.

Objections or submissions of support are encouraged to be submitted within 14 days of receiving the notice, but the council must consider any submission received before it makes its decision.




Step 6 - Final Assessment

Once all relevant information has been received, your planner will assess your application and prepare a report and recommendation about whether it should be approved and, if so, any conditions which should be included in the approval.

During this stage your planner will:

  • Apply the relevant planning scheme provisions.
  • Consider any referral comments or conditions.
  • Consider all submission received as part of the advertising process.

During this process your planner will be in contact to discuss recommendation and any conditions that may be considered as part of the final decision. You will also be informed on which planning decision process will be applied to your application, if you have not already been notified. 

We aim to ensure all applications are assessed with report and recommendations completed within 7 business days of all relevant information being received.

Step 7 - Making a Decision

Depending on the type of application, a planning decision may be made:

  • By a Delegated Planning Officer
  • At an Ordinary Council Meeting

Our decision may be one of the following:

  • Approval of a planning permit
  • Notice of decision to grant a planning permit
  • Notice of decision to refuse to grant a planning permit

For all applications that are decided by a delegated planning officer we aim to have the final decision made within 5 days of the Final Assessment being completed. 

Applications that require a planning decision to be made at an Ordinary Council Meeting will be tabled at the next available Council Meeting.


Step 8 - Notice of Decision

We will be in contact as soon as final decision has been made. 

We aim to ensure that you receive formal notification of this decision no more than 5 days after the decision has been made. 

NOTE: Following this process there is an option of an application for review (appeal) to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).