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Timeframes explained

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There are many factors that will influence how your application or proposal will progress through the City departments. The most important thing to remember is that every application is different and unique.

Call one of our Business Help Desk staff so they can assist you to understand how you can positively influence the time taken to process a permit or application.

Read some of our helpful facts around what can influence timeframes for permits and applications.

This is the most common question from each applicant and the hardest to answer. There are reasons the answer to this question varies:

  • Each unit has different requirements to meet.
  • Processing time will vary from one application to the next as each application has different issues or rules that will apply.
  • There are many factors that can increase time, which is discussed later in this page.

City officers can explain potential risks with your proposal and associated time delays if they are aware of all details proposed by your business.

Read more sections on this web page about what can delay an application, which may help minimise delays.

Planning Permit Applications and Building Permit Applications can be submitted at the same time; however it is likely that the building permit application will not be assessed until it’s known that the planning application is approved.

A-Frame Permit Applications for advertising outside a premises can be applied for at the same time a business registers their food business through the Environmental Health department.

Not one business is alike, which means an application for a business similar to yours is not the same as your application. Frustration can be reduced by understanding common factors that slow an application down. These may be:

Signatures not signed in the appropriate areas.

Some applications and documents require a signature in more than one location.

Before you submit your document, ask another person to look over your application and ensure you have signed all the correct places.

Your business idea changed in some way, after you submitted the application.

Changing your business idea is similar to submitting a new application, no matter how minor the change may be. All new information has to be assessed against the existing information, which may add time to processing the application.

You may also have to pay an amendment fee in relation to the change.

It is best to be sure about your product and services from the beginning. If you’re unsure, the Business Help Desk can link you with services to assist you in gathering details to finalise your business plan.

Objections were received

The public or an external authority is entitled to object to any planning application. External authorities may include - Powercor, Coliban Water, Victoria Police or the Country Fire Authority.

Objections are unforeseen and may create a delay in processing your application, as they take time to resolve.

Consultation is required between the objector and the applicant to resolve the issue. Sometimes this can be straight forward and resolved quickly, other times the delay could be longer.

Objections can be resolved in four ways:

  1. Between the applicant and the objector

  2. Via a committee of delegated Senior Planning Officers

  3. Through a council meeting for public discussion

  4. Through the Victorian Civil Administration Tribunal

Unfortunately all methods take time to work through and this is beyond the City’s control.

Objections can sometimes be reduced or identified by consulting with neighbours of your desired business location prior to starting the process.

Read about how objections are received to understand the process further.

When you submit your planning application to the Planning Department, a Planning Officer will do a thorough assessment and advise if further information is needed. This will be done within 28 days.

Once you submit your application the Planning Officer may still need to send a letter requesting further information.

  • This may be because an external authority has requested further information about an expected impact or issue. External authorities include - Coliban Water, Victoria Police, the Country Fire Authority or others.
  • The planning scheme might identify the need for certain information before the planner can move forwards with the assessment.
  • The plans might not have enough detail or inclusions.
  • The Planner may need to understand or clarify your proposal further.

In most cases an applicant returns the paperwork in a timely manner. Sometimes the information requested cannot be obtained as quickly as the applicant first thought.

City officers have no control over this delay and cannot progress your application until the requested information is received back from you.

Requests for further information can be reduced by:

  • Taking time to prepare the initial information for assessment
  • Ensuring your business proposal is clear and detailed
  • Being set about your business idea from the beginning
  • Utilising pre-application meetings if your business proposal is more detailed
  • Seeking advice from experts that may have been through a process similar to yours, as they may have suggestions about what information was required
  • Engaging a consultant to gather the required information on your behalf

City Officers do their best to work through each application in a timely fashion. There are multiple applications with City Officers at any given time.

Where possible, make use of online application updates by checking the Application Register for status updates.

The City’s planning department is performing above the state average for processing times, with 74% (Third Quarter, 2016/2017 report) of applications being processed in the statutory timeframes.

Further information about the performance of the City’s processing times can be read in the Planning Permit Activity in Victoria reports, on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.

Do you need assistance understanding the City's timeframes?

Contact the Business Help Desk for a one on one meeting on 03 5434 6000 or email [email protected]

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