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Planning and Design

Planning and Design

The VicSmart Planning Application Process

VicSmart is a streamlined assessment process for low-impact, straightforward planning permit applications. Classes of application are identified in the planning scheme as being VicSmart and have specified requirements for information, assessment processes and decision guidelines.

Key features of VicSmart:

  • 10 day permit decision process
  • applications are not advertised
  • the information required to be submitted with an application and what council can consider is pre-set

 

Extension of VicSmart

In July 2017, the government implemented a further extension to VicSmart through Amendment VC137.

The amendment introduces additional classes of application into the VicSmart provisions for
residential zones. It changes the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes by:

Amending Clause 92 (State VicSmart applications) to;

  • Include the extension of one dwelling on a lot in the Mixed Use, Township, Residential
    Growth, General Residential and Neighbourhood Residential zones as a VicSmart
    class of application if certain requirements are met
  • Change the existing VicSmart class of application for buildings and works in a Mixed
    Use Zone from an estimated cost of $50,000 to $100,000
  • Include buildings and works up to $100,000 in the Low Density Residential, Township,
    Residential Growth, General Residential and Neighbourhood Residential zones as a
    VicSmart class of application if the works are not associated with a dwelling and certain
    requirements are met
  • Correct the numbering of the VicSmart permit requirement provisions to align with
    numbering changes made in the zones.

Amending Clause 93.04 (Buildings and works in a zone [except a rural zone]) to include
information requirements and decision guidelines for the additional class of State VicSmart
application;

Inserting Clause 93.14 (Extension to one dwelling on a lot in a residential zone) to include
information requirements and decision guidelines for the additional class of State VicSmart
application.

These changes have now been incorporated into planning schemes.

 

Does your application qualify for VicSmart?

To qualify for the VicSmart permit process your proposal must be listed as a type of application, meet the criteria, and be located in the specified zone or overlay. 

A proposal may fall into more than one class of VicSmart application.  Where a proposal falls into more than one class of VicSmart application, the requirements of each class need to be met.

There are three prerequisites for an application to be eligible as a VicSmart application:

  1. All the requirements for a permit must be listed as a VicSmart application
  2. A permit issued must not breach a registered restrictive covenant
  3. Referral authority approval must be obtained before lodging the application

Visit the VicSmart website www.planning.vic.gov.au/vicsmart for information guides and checklists to assist you to determine if your application qualifies to be assessed as VicSmart.


The VicSmart Application Process

The VicSmart process involves four simple steps:

Step 1 - Prepare Step 2 - Submit Step 3 - Assess Step 4 - Decide
  • Check the Planning Scheme
  • Discuss your proposal with a Council planning officer
  • Obtain checklists and information guides

 

  • Submit the application with all the required information

 

  • Application is assessed against pre-set criteria

 

  • Application is approved or refused within 10 business days

 


Step 1 – Prepare
 

Download a copy of the Applicant's Guide to lodging a VicSmart Application and relevant checklists from the VicSmart website www.planning.vic.gov.au/vicsmart 

Discuss your proposal with a Council planning officer. Confirm that your proposal qualifies for VicSmart and learn what information needs to be submitted with the application.

Click here for information on how to access Council's Planning Pre-Application Discussion Service - fees apply.


Step 2 - Submit

A council officer will check the submitted information against the requirements listed in the planning scheme.

To enable a decision to be made in 10 business days, you must submit all required information when lodging the application:

  • A completed Application for VicSmart Planning Permit form
  • Payment of the prescribed application fee via cheque or credit card payment form
  • A current certificate of title (dated less than one month old). The title includes the covering ‘register search statement’, the title diagram and the associated title documents known as ‘instruments’, for example, restrictive covenants
  • All required information for the class of VicSmart application (requirements are set out in the planning scheme and summarised in the VicSmart checklists)
  • Completed checklist(s) - if your proposal falls into more than one VicSmart class of application, you will need to complete all of the relevant checklists

Please submit two set of all application documents:

  • One (1) hard copy (plans can be A3 size) 
  • One (1) electronic copy of all application documents and plans on CD or USB flash drive

Please note: Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

A VicSmart application can be amended after lodgement.  The day Council receives the request for the amendment becomes the lodgment date of the application.

 

Step 3 - Assess

A VicSmart application is assessed against pre-set decision guidelines that are set out in the VicSmart planning provisions for that class of application.

If a proposal meets the criteria for a VicSmart application, council must assess the application within 10 days using the VicSmart process. A Council cannot choose to assess the proposal using the regular permit process.

If the information submitted with the application is inadequate or if some of the required information is missing, Council can ask you in writing to provide further information. If the requested information is not provided by the specified date, the application will lapse. An application that has lapsed cannot be recommenced and a new application must be lodged. To receive an extension to allow you to seek additional information, you must apply to Council before the lapse date.

 

Step 4 - Decide

A decision should be made within 10 business days. After 10 business days, you will have a right of review by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for failure to decide.

An application is not automatically decided after 10 business days. If the application cannot be decided because of missing information, inadequate fee, design negotiations or other outstanding matter, you will be informed.

Similarly where a decision can be made but has been inadvertently delayed, a council officer will most likely inform you and will make a decision as soon as practicable.

Under VicSmart, you have the right to a review by VCAT after 10 business days, but you are not compelled to do so. Before applying to VCAT, please contact Council's Planning department on 8571 1000 to find out when a decision will be made. In most cases, a decision will be made within a reasonable timeframe.