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Participating in an appeal to VCAT

Objectors to a Planning Permit can participate in an appeal to VCAT as a 'Party to the appeal.' This allows you to attend the hearing and support your case.

As an objector, you can still have your concerns considered by VCAT even if you do not participate in the appeal.

Lodge a Statement of Grounds form to:

  • indicate your intention to participate or not participate in the appeal
  • detail the nature of your concerns.

The applicant will provide you with the Statement of Grounds form and information pack after they lodge the appeal.

If you indicate that you do not wish to participate in the appeal, then you will not be made a party and will not receive further correspondence from VCAT or any other party.

VCAT will still consider the matters raised in your Statement of Grounds when they make their decision.

Submit the Statement of Grounds form by the date specified to ensure you become a party to the appeal.

Supply a copy of the Statement of Grounds form to:

  • VCAT (a fee is applicable. Find the fees at the VCAT website)
  • the Planning Permit applicant
  • Council by email to [email protected] or post to Private Bag 1, Camberwell Victoria 3124.

Participating when you are not an objector

If you didn't submit your objection to the Planning Permit application prior to Council making a decision, you may still be able to lodge a Statement of Grounds.

You must request in writing that VCAT make you a party to the appeal.

Whether you are made a party to the appeal is at VCAT’s discretion.

Appointing an objector spokesperson

In cases where there are many objectors to an appeal, it can be useful for the objectors to appoint one or more people to speak on their behalf. This can be an effective approach, particularly if the objectors have many issues in common.

If someone else represents you at the hearing you must either:

  • tell VCAT in writing before the hearing
  • make sure the person representing you provides a written authority to the VCAT member.

Objector participation in failure appeals

The Planning Permit applicant may have lodged a failure appeal if Council didn't make a decision on the application within 60 days.

In these cases, Council usually notify the owners and occupiers of the surrounding properties in writing that the permit applicant has lodged an appeal.

Sometimes an applicant may have filed the failure appeal before Council gave notice of the permit application.

If this happens, the applicant will provide information to anyone who would have been given notice of the application by Council. This includes:

  • details of the appeal
  • a blank Statement of Grounds that objectors can fill in and lodge with VCAT if they wish to become parties to the appeal.

This means objectors are not disadvantaged if the applicant has lodged a failure appeal, because they still have the right to participate in the proceedings.

Appealing a Notice of Decision to Grant a Planning Permit

If you objected to a Planning Permit application and Council decides to issue a Notice of Decision to Grant a Planning Permit, you can lodge an appeal with VCAT.

VCAT and our Statutory Planning Department cannot advise you whether to lodge an appeal or not. You can seek your own professional town planning or legal advice before lodging an appeal.

More information

For more information, contact:

Note that this information does not replace professional town planning or legal advice.


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