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Make a submission or objection to a Planning Application

When Council receives an application for Planning Application which may cause detriment to another person or the amenity of an area, the proposal is required to be advertised to the public. There are several ways in which this process can be carried out including:

  • Letters to properties in the immediate area – this is usually undertaken by the applicant.
  • Display of a sign on the subject site; and/or
  • Notice in the local newspaper/s (usually for covenant variations).
What do I do if I am affected by a proposal?

If you feel that you are affected by a proposed development, it is recommended that you view the plans and read any supporting documentation to gain an understanding of what is proposed. If you do not have access to a computer or are unable to visit a library, please contact us on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) and the planning officer on duty will be able to assist.

Once you have viewed the plans it is recommended that you discuss your concerns with the permit applicant prior to lodging any potential objection. The permit applicant may be able to clarify any questions or concerns and will be able to discuss the design considerations. Speaking to the applicant may sometimes result in potential changes to the design and the lodgement of a revised plan with Council. Alternatively, please contact Council’s Customer Service team on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) and ask to speak to the Duty Planner (8:30am – 5pm Monday to Friday) who can assist further.

How long do I have to make an objection/submission?

The advertised plans are placed on Council's website for viewing up until a decision is made. The Planning and Environment Act 1987 which applies to all Councils across Victoria specifies a decision to a planning permit application may be made 14 days from when the last notice was given. For example:

If letters were sent on the 1st of January, a decision will not be made against the application until the 15th of January.

If letters were sent on the 1st of January, but the sign was displayed on the land on the 5th of January, a decision will not be made until the 19th of January (i.e. 14 days from the last notice).

It should be noted that the date specified in the Notice is not the last day for objections. However, it is strongly recommended any objections/submissions be made as soon as possible and within the 14 days to ensure they get considered as part of the assessment process. The planner is able to make a decision any time after the end of the public notice period. If you need more time e.g. there were delays in receiving your letter or you were absent from home please contact the planner assessing the proposal to discuss arrangements and anticipated timeframes for making a decision.

How do I object/make a submission?

You can make a submission/objection by:

  • Completing the relevant form below and e-mailing it to basscoast@basscoast.vic.gov.au or posting/delivering it to 76 McBride Avenue, Wonthaggi VIC 3995.
  • Sending an e-mail to basscoast@basscoast.vic.gov.au - please ensure the subject line contains the planning permit number, address of the proposal and 'Planning Permit Objection'.

    The e-mail needs to contain your name, contact details, postal address, planning permit number of the proposal, address of the proposal and the reasons for your objection.

Within a few days of your submission you will receive a formal acknowledgement e-mail and your objection will be uploaded on Council's website.

Will my objection be made public?

Your objection and the personal information provided is collected by Bass Coast Shire Council for the purposes of the planning process as set out in the Planning and Environment Act 1987. If you do not provide your name and address, Council will not be able to consider your submission. We need this information to keep you informed of the progress of the application and to advise you of Council's decision.

Your objection will be available at the Bass Coast Shire Office at Wonthaggi for any person to inspect and copies may be made available to the applicant for the relevant period set out in the Planning and Environment Act 1987. You must not submit any personal information or copyright material of third parties without their informed consent. By submitting the material, you agree that the use of the material as detailed above does not breach any third party’s right to privacy and copyright.

Additionally, a redacted version of your objection will be made available online with personal information removed.

Once advertising is complete and the final decision on the planning application is issued, proposed plans and objections are removed from Council's website.

What can I object about?

Although council must review all submissions, policies and legislation guide which matters are considered valid. Objections based on moral grounds or private and
commercial competition will not be considered. The following are some examples of common objections that are unable to be considered:

  • Loss of property values, or perceived loss of revenue/profit.
  • Loss of views/outlook (applications located in the Design and Development Overlay - Schedule 1 provide some exemptions).
  • Speculative activities outside the scope of the Planning Scheme (e.g. rental accommodation).
  • Interpersonal conflict with the applicant/owner.
  • Demolition (unless a Heritage Overlay applies).
  • Construction management/damage/noise from construction.

To ensure your submission/objection is effective it is a good idea to break your submission down into the key themes and to be clear on why the proposal will impact you and in what form. If only a section of the proposal will impact you, please highlight this. It is also recommended to include suggestions on what solutions may address your concerns.

Common themes that can be considered in an objection generally relate to:

  • Neighbourhood character (e.g. building height, setbacks, landscaping).
  • Loss of privacy/overlooking.
  • Loss of vegetation.
  • Overshadowing into your backyard.
  • Car parking

You should be aware that Council’s consideration of some applications is limited.

For example, if a proposal requires a planning permit only because the property is affected by a Heritage Overlay control, Council is limited to considering heritage
matters and cannot consider matters relating to amenity such as overlooking or overshadowing. It is therefore important to know exactly why the proposal needs
a permit - please speak to our Planning Department to find out what matters are being considered.

What happens after I object?

Council will assess all submissions for the application at any point up until a decision is made.

If you lodge a submission, Council will notify you of receipt. This is done via your nominated mailing or email address. You will be notified of the outcome (if permit is granted or refused).

You may withdraw your submission any point until a decision is made.

If you wish to appeal the decision, you may apply at the Planning Division of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). This can be done within 28 days of the date of issue. The relevant forms, fees and associated material scan be found at www.vcat.com.au or by phoning 1300 018 228.

The time taken for Council to assess an application and make a decision varies and depends on the complexity of the application and the submissions received.

Why was I not notified of a planning application?

There are some scenarios in which notice is not required this includes:

  • VicSmart applications – these applications are a streamlined assessment process for straightforward and low impact applications introduced by the State Government in 2014. Due to the requirement to make a decision in 10 days and of the 'low impact' nature of the proposals (e.g. front fences or outbuildings), applications are exempt from public notice and Council is not allowed to advertise these.
  • Where you are not an adjoining property – Section 52 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 specifies that notice of the application must be given to the owners and occupiers of land adjoining the subject land to which the application applies. If your property is located some distance from the subject site you may not receive a letter of the proposal. However, a sign is usually displayed for certain applications and regardless of receiving notice or not, you are entitled to lodge an objection or submission if you believe you are affected.
  • The application is minor in nature - Certain applications may be setback a considerable distance form neighbouring properties/boundaries or may not be visible from the street and therefore it is not considered that there would be material detriment caused by the proposal.