Should you appeal to VCAT against the failure of Council to make a decision in the prescribed timeframe?

We often are asked for advice as to whether we should lodge an appeal to VCAT against the failure of Council to make a decision in the prescribed timeframe (60 statutory days) or to continue through the Council application process.

There are certainly many instances where such an appeal is necessary, however for many applications, we simply do not recommend rushing off to appeal.

As many of our clients are aware, we have a particular philosophy and approach (our Proven Approach) that underpins the actions of our company and has led to our high level of success. This approach is based on our detailed understanding of what is required to successfully manage a proposal through the planning approval process.

This approach was recently put to the test with an application for a three storey apartment building designed by Martin Friedrich Architects in Male Street, Brighton with the client seeking our direction to either lodge the appeal or continue through the Council application process. Our advice was to continue with the Council application process despite there being a number of objections and to seek the support of the Councillors at a full Council Meeting held last week. The Councillors voted unanimously to support the proposal and we are confident that no appeals will be lodged by the objectors and the permit will issue in the New Year.

Whilst the timing for a Council decision can often take some months following the completion of advertising, as it did in this case, we believe that this approach can ultimately save a considerable amount of time, money and avoid an additional level of risk associated with the decision to proceed to VCAT.

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