Planning investigation and compliance deals with complaints and breaches of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.
We are responsible for administering and enforcing the Planning and Environment Act 1987, and any planning permits issued under the Boroondara Planning Scheme. The Act also provides a range of remedies for planning breaches.
There are certain circumstances when a person is required to obtain a planning permit from Council before starting development or changing the use of the land. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to comply with all of the relevant conditions of the permit, including any approved plans.
When we are made aware of an alleged breach, an authorised Planning Investigation Officer will undertake a thorough investigation. This may include interviewing the landowner, builder and contractors. An interview may also be required with the complainant. We will advise the complainant of the outcome of any investigation.
Our Planning Investigation Officers can issue Planning Infringement Notices, which include a penalty and requirements to rectify breaches. The current penalty is $777.00 for a person and $1,555.00 for a company or body corporate.
For more serious breaches, we may seek to obtain an Enforcement Order from the Victorian and Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). This will involve a hearing during which Council, the alleged offender and the complainant will be required to give evidence. The Tribunal will then make a decision and may specify any actions to rectify a breach, including time frames.
For the most serious breaches, or where a VCAT order has not been complied with, we can seek prosecution through the Magistrates Court, which can result in substantial penalties.
Lodging a formal planning complaint
To make a formal planning complaint, you will be required to write to us either by post or email, or by phoning Statutory Planning on 9278 4888.
You will be asked to detail the nature of the alleged breach, including the property address and any other relevant particulars that may assist the investigation. Your contact details will also be requested so that the officer can contact you should further information be required, and to advise you on the progress and outcome of the investigation.
Under the Information Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 your contact details will be kept confidential. You should also be aware that the Planning Investigation Officer may request to interview you and obtain a signed statement.
Investigating your complaint
When we receive a planning complaint, Officers will first determine whether any breach of the Act, Scheme or the planning permit has occurred.
Matters to be considered would include:
- Is the use or development contrary to the planning controls applying to the land?
- Is the use or development in breach of any planning permit issued for the land?
- Is the use or development in breach of any planning permit condition issued for the land?
The Planning Investigation Officer will then attend the subject site and carry out an inspection. If a breach of the Boroondara Planning Scheme has occurred, evidence will then be obtained to support the complaint.
If there is no breach identified, the Officer will write to you and advise of the outcome of the investigation.
If a breach is detected, Council will determine the most appropriate course of action. This could include negotiating a suitable outcome, the issue of a Planning Infringement Notice, an application for an Enforcement Order to VCAT or a prosecution in the Magistrates Court.
Contacts for further advice:
Email Statutory Planning or call the team on 9278 4888.
Visit Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) or call VCAT on 9628 9777.
Get in touch with the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria.