Appeal a decision

Applicants and objectors have the right to appeal planning decisions. Learn more about the appeal process.

Your rights

Whether you're an applicant or objector, you may have the right to appeal a planning permit decision.

Appeals for all planning decisions go through the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). VCAT conducts public hearings and considers submissions from all parties before making its decisions.

You have the right to appeal a planning permit decision if:

  • we refused your application or included conditions you don't agree with
  • you don't agree with our decision to grant a permit
  • you objected to a permit that has since had a Notice of Decision to Grant a Planning Permit.

I’m an applicant

If you want to appeal the refusal or conditions of your application, you must lodge an application for review within 60 days of receiving a Notice of Decision or Notice of refusal.

I’m an objector

If you don't agree with our decision to grant a permit, you must lodge an application for review within 28 days of when we send you the Notice of Decision.

If there’s no application for review, we must grant the planning permit at least 28 days after issuing the Notice of Decision.

VCAT appeal process

If you're appealing a Darebin planning decision, please follow these steps in the VCAT appeal process.

Stage 1: Lodge your appeal

To lodge an appeal:

  • complete an Application for Review form, available from the VCAT website.
  • submit the form to VCAT and pay the relevant fee.

Stage 2: Receive an initiating order

VCAT will send you an initiating order after you lodge your appeal. The initiating order includes:

  • the hearing date
  • details of any compulsory conferences or practice day hearings
  • time frames
  • the responsibilities of all parties.

For more information, visit the VCAT planning disputes page.

Stage 3: Notify objectors

If anyone objected to your planning permit application, you must:

  • notify them of any lodged appeals
  • give them enough information to understand the nature of the appeal
  • provide a Statement of Grounds form for the objector to complete if they want to be involved.

Stage 4: Prepare for your hearing

To prepare for the VCAT hearing, you should collect all relevant information to support your case.

If you're an objector, refer to your Statement of Grounds and any planning scheme controls that we considered. Our planning department can advise you of relevant planning scheme controls and policies.

We recommends you use VCAT templates for your submission. You can get these from the VCAT website.

You can represent yourself or appoint a professional for the hearing. We can't advise you on this.

Stage 5: Attend the hearing

Each party only has one chance to address the hearing. The hearing will run in this order:

  • preliminary discussions
  • Council addresses the hearing
  • objectors and third parties address the hearing
  • applicant addresses the hearing
  • Council and objectors have right of reply
  • Council and all parties discuss what conditions VCAT should place on the planning permit, if it's approved.

Council has two roles at the hearing:

  • to inform the VCAT member of the history and details of the planning application
  • to make a submission supporting its position.

Stage 6: VCAT's decision

VCAT will now either:

  • make a decision at the end of the hearing
  • reserve their decision and issue a written decision within four to six weeks.

In making its decision, VCAT will take a completely new look at the application.

VCAT will consider the following:

  • the application and all supporting material, including the plans
  • the planning scheme and other planning laws
  • all of the matters that the responsible authority considered or was required to consider when it made its decision
  • the views of any referral authority
  • all objections to the permit
  • submissions and evidence from the parties.

VCAT cannot consider the following:

  • building height or size if a permit is only needed to reduce a car parking requirement
  • whether land should be used for a fast-food restaurant if that use is already authorised and a permit is only needed for a sign
  • traffic impacts in a street if a permit is only needed to deal with a building heritage issue
  • anything outside the rules and laws of other government organisations.

VCAT will usually not consider:

  • the personalities of the people involved
  • how the council handled the application
  • moral objections
  • whether the permit will increase competition between businesses
  • whether the permit might cause a loss of property value.

VCAT’s decision is final and binding to all parties. You have no further right, unless VCAT made a legal mistake in their decision. If there is a legal mistake, then you have the right to appeal to the Supreme Court of Victoria.

For more information about any of the above, call VCAT on 1300 018 228.

Current VCAT appeals

If someone appeals against your application, VCAT will list it on their Current objector applications for review page.

We list applications that are currently before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). We also list cases where VCAT or the applicant have asked us to provide plans to help parties during the review.

Please direct any correspondence about these plans to VCAT.