Objecting to a planning application

When a planning application requires formal advertising (public notice), the council must give notice of this application in a prescribed form. Northern Grampians Shire Council does this on behalf of the applicant. Public notice can be given in the following ways:

  • a letter forwarded to adjoining properties landowners and occupiers
  • a sign on the property
  • an advertisement in the local newspaper

The plans and reports must also be made available for the general public to view.

Written comments are welcomed in response to the advertisement of an application, which then form a submission to the proposal.

If these comments are against the proposal, then they are considered an 'objection'.

Advertised planning applications can be viewed at council's offices in Stawell and St. Arnaud.

The advertised planning application can also be viewed online on the Online Planning & Building Portal (Greenlight).

Anyone who may be affected by the grant of a permit can submit an objection to council.

Objections can be lodged at any time prior to council making a decision, however it is recommended that objections are lodged during the 14-day advertising period. An objection must:

  • be in writing
  • state reasons for the objection
  • state how the objector would be affected by the granting of a permit.

Your objection must:

  • include the objector’s full name, relevant postal address, phone number and email address
  • specify the planning application number
  • include the reasons for the objection and state how the objector would be affected

An objection will carry more weight if it is rational, specifically addresses the proposal and clearly describes how you will be affected.

Constructive suggestions on how any impacts could be reduced (or even eliminated) by possible changes to the plans are also useful.

Council may reject an objection if it is considered to have been made primarily to secure or maintain a direct or indirect commercial advantage for the objector.

You can lodge an objection to a planning permit via the Online Planning & Building Portal (Greenlight).

All objectors will receive an acknowledgement in writing confirming their objection has been received.

Any person is entitled to view and read an objection to a planning application before a decision has been made on the application.

Privacy laws do not limit who can view and read an objection, as the Planning and Environment Act makes an objection publicly available and accessible (refer to s57(5) of Planning and Environment Act 1987).Council may also provide an applicant with a copy of your objection.

A planning officer will consider your objection when making a decision on a planning application.

Planning Officers must consider all objections when assessing an application and you will receive a copy of the decision once it has been made.

If the Planning Department decides to grant the permit, it will issue a ‘Notice of Decision to Grant a Permit’.

As an objector, you will be sent a copy of this notice and you will have 28 days to lodge an application for review at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

If no objectors lodge a review with VCAT during this time, council will grant the planning permit.  

If you no longer have concerns about the application after speaking with Council, you can withdraw your objection. Any withdrawal made must also be made in writing.

Please note, for an objection to be withdrawn it must be unconditional and not subject to any conditions or requirements.

If you do withdraw an objection, you will not be informed of the decision or be able to make a further appeal to VCAT if you are unhappy with the decision.