Objecting to a planning application/VCAT

Anyone can lodge an objection to a planning permit application, and Council must consider all objections when assessing the application.

You can search for a list of all current and past planning applications on Council’s online register.

Objections can be lodged with Council any time up to when it makes a decision, however objections are usually lodged during the 14-day advertising period.

You may also include suggestions for changes, which could overcome your concerns.

It is important to make sure that your objection specifically addresses the proposal and describes how you will be affected.

Once Council has received your objection you will be sent a confirmation letter or email so you can be sure that your objection has been included.

Council may invite you to a consultation meeting to discuss your concerns directly with the applicant.

If you reach a compromise with the applicant and you no longer have any concerns about the application, you can withdraw your objection in writing to Council.

However, if you withdraw your objection, you will not be informed of the decision and you will lose your right to apply to VCAT for a review if you are unhappy with Council’s decision.

Once Council has made a decision, you will receive a copy of that decision.

If Council decides to grant the permit, it will need to issue a ‘Notice of Decision to Grant a Permit’.

Council must consider all objections when assessing an application.

As an objector you will be sent this notice and you will have 21 days to lodge an application for review at VCAT.

If no objectors lodge a review with VCAT during this time, Council will grant the planning permit.

 pdf format Planning Permit Objection Form (20.61kB)


Council’s decision about a planning permit application does not necessarily have to be final.

If you are unhappy with a Council decision you can review this decision with the Victorian Civil and Administration Tribunal (VCAT).

VCAT is a State Government-appointed panel that independently reviews planning decisions made by councils.

Appeals to VCAT may be:

  • Objections to the granting of a permit
  • Objections to a refusal of a permit
  • Objections to the conditions placed on a permit/or lack thereof

You can also lodge an application for review to VCAT if Council takes more than 60 days to make a decision on your application (this is known as ‘Failure to Determine’). However, it is important to carefully consider the likely timeframes associated with this process.

For more information about referring decisions to VCAT and the review process please refer to the VCAT fact sheet: 

 pdf format Planning Decisions at VCAT 2013 (497.11 KB) 

Further information
Statutory Planning
9205 5373

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