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How Council Assesses your Planning Application

Steps in the planning application process

After you submit your application, it will go through several steps before Council can issue a decision.

You can track your application using the online planning register.

Online Planning Register

Step 1: Review information submitted

Council will review your application to ensure you have submitted the required documents. If anything is missing or incomplete, Council will not accept your application. Council will return it to you.

If you have not yet paid the application fee, Council will send you an invoice. You must pay the invoice within ten business days.

Please note, in accordance with Section 47 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, your application will not be formally received by Council until the application fee has been paid. The date of the payment of the fee will be the date of receipt of the application.

Step 2: Register the application

After reviewing your application and confirming application fees have been paid, Council will register it and assign it to a planning officer.

Council will let you know your application number and who your planning officer is.

Step 3: Assess the application

The planning officer:

  • will do a preliminary assessment of your application within 28 days of the lodgement date
  • might ask you for more information
  • will let you know if they have any preliminary concerns with your proposal
  • might need to refer your application to other authorities for comment. These other authorities could be energy and water companies or VicRoads.

To amend your application at this stage in the assessment process, request a Section 50 amendment. Fees may apply.

Step 4: Give public notice (advertising)

The owners and occupiers of nearby properties might need to know about your planning application. If so, Council will send them a letter to notify them of the application. One or more notices may need to be displayed on the subject site. The application may need to be advertised in a local newspaper.

Step 5: Final assessment

Your application will undergo a final assessment against:

Council might still ask for extra information at this point.

If public notice has been given and you wish to amend your application, request a Section 57a amendment. Fees apply.

Step 6: Issue a decision

Council may issue one of the following decisions:

  • Planning Permit
  • Notice of Decision to Grant a Planning Permit (if Council supports the application, but there were submissions/objections)
  • Notice of Decision to Refuse to Grant a Permit

Visit the Deciding on a planning application section for more details. 

Appeal a decision

An applicant or submitter/objector can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a review of Council’s decision.

You must submit your request for review directly to VCAT within the specified timeframes.

Need more information?

Visit the Department of Transport and Planning website for information and resources relating to the planning process.

Learn how to submit further information to Council or request more time to submit information for your planning application.
Learn what to do if you need to change a planning permit application already submitted to Council.
Learn more about whether your planning permit application will need to be formally advertised and what this involves.
Learn about the decisions Council can make on a planning permit application and what each decision means.