Review of a planning decision at VCAT

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Read the information below before you apply

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Only the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) can review an application. After we have made a planning permit decision, we cannot undertake an internal review.


VCAT is the independent body that can review planning decisions

As an independent tribunal, VCAT hears and determines disputes that includes reviews of our planning decisions.

The Planning and Environment Act 1987 (the Act) establishes the applications that VCAT can review and can include reviews of:

  • refusals to grant permits
  • requirements
  • failures to grant permits
  • conditions on permits
  • extensions of time to permits
  • decisions of applications as an objector.


When do you have to apply for a review?

Timeframes and eligibility to apply for a review to VCAT are different and depends on:

  • the type of decision we have made
  • your relationship to the decision.

You can generally find an outline of the requirements on the final pages of the decision under the heading, ‘Important information about this permit/notice’.


How to apply through VCAT

You will need to make a review of a planning permit application directly to VCAT.

If you objected to an application and the applicant has applied to VCAT to review the decision, they will generally serve you notice of their application for review on you. Notice will include instructions on your involvement in the review application.

You can find detailed information on how to apply for review and what to expect on VCAT’s website.

Visit VCAT website


How does VCAT decide if we have made the right decision?

When reviewing a decision, VCAT will put itself in Manningham's shoes and analyse the merits of the application. They will then decide if we have made the right decision.


Complaints VCAT cannot hear

VCAT cannot hear complaints about:

  • the processing of the application
  • our conduct relating to the application.

In certain limited circumstances, you can make an application to VCAT for other matters such as:

  • cancellation of a permit
  • enforcement of a permit
  • a planning scheme requirement
  • a declaration about a specific matter.

These applications are separate to a review application. You should seek independent legal advice before making an application of this nature.


What types of outcomes can occur after an application hearing?

VCAT will make most decisions after holding a hearing. There is no requirement for all review applications to proceed to a hearing. Parties can reach an outcome by mutual consent from mediation or negotiation.

After making a determination to a review an application, VCAT will give its findings either verbally at the end of a hearing, or in writing at a later date.

You can view most VCAT decisions online.


Can you ask for correspondence or documents relating to VCAT?

We can help with general questions about reviews of planning decisions. We recommend that you contact VCAT or get independent legal advice.

You should serve any documents and correspondence about VCAT proceedings to our email

If you want to access any documents relating to current VCAT proceedings, you can do so by conducting a planning application search.