Apply to review a refusal or failure to extend time

You can request a responsible authority to extend time in respect of the expiry of a planning permit or the time within which a plan of subdivision must be certified or the time within which you must provide further information they have requested in relation to a permit application.

If a responsible authority (usually a municipal council) refuses or fails to extend time, you can apply to VCAT to review the refusal or failure under sections 54A, 69, 81(1), and 81(2) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

In relation to an application for review under section 81(1) Planning and Environment Act 1987 VCAT may only consider an extension of time in respect to the expiry of a permit if a request is first made to the responsible authority within the time specified in section 69 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987. If you do not meet these requirements, VCAT must reject your application. Refer to sections 69(1) and 69(1A) of the Act.

Before you apply

If you are applying to VCAT in relation to the expiry of a permit or certification of a plan you must apply:

  • within 60 days of the decision of the responsible authority, or
  • after one month has elapsed after the request for an extension of time was made and the responsible authority has failed to make a decision.

If your application is about an extension of time to provide additional information to a responsible authority, you must apply:

  • before the lapse date specified in the notice requiring further information, or
  • before any new lapse date allowed by the responsible authority or VCAT.

Extension of time to apply

Under section 126 of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998, VCAT can extend the time to apply. We can extend the time by which you must make an application to VCAT – if it is reasonable to do so and if extending time would not cause any prejudice or detriment to a party or potential party that cannot be remedied by an appropriate order for costs or damages.

Complete and submit the Application for an extension of time form to apply for more time to lodge an application.

Need help with your application?

VCAT cannot give you legal advice. Seek legal help if you are unsure about your legal options. The following services may be able to help you:

Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?

You may have a legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT (such as a lawyer, town planner, relative, or some other person). In Planning and Environment cases you do not need to have VCAT's permission to be represented.

Find free or low-cost legal services that may be able to assist you.

Access and privacy

VCAT hearings and files are usually public.

VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality. For more about applying for confidentiality.

Legislation that applies to this type of case

  • When VCAT receives your application we assign a reference number and send you an initiating order. The initiating order sets out the steps in the progress of your case to a final decision. The order gives directions to you and other parties and specifies the date of the final hearing and if necessary the dates of a practice day hearing and/or compulsory conference.

    If desirable there will be a practice day hearing in relation to your application. At the practice day hearing we may hear the merits and make a decision in respect of less complicated applications. Otherwise, we will give further directions about the conduct of the proceeding.

    Read more about what happens when VCAT opens a case.

  • A compulsory conference is a form of mediation. We use compulsory conferences to allow parties to work together towards a settlement. If you have been told to attend a compulsory conference, you need to prepare an opening statement. Use the opening statement to clearly state your case. It can be a helpful starting point for discussion between the parties. See more about how to resolve a case by agreement.

  • VCAT members decide cases based on the parties' submissions and the expertise of the members. In many cases submissions are supported by evidence and witness statements. Sometimes we may also arrange an inspection. As soon as you receive the initiating order, start preparing for the hearing. If you are going to call expert evidence, you must meet detailed requirements and strict timeframes. Gather together the documents you will bring to the hearing to support your case, for example, six copies of your written submission, photographs, videos, and witness statements.

    If your application relates to the expiry of a permit, think about what will be considered in preparing your submission. Has there has been any change in planning policy or any other change in circumstances which may be relevant to the decision? What is the likelihood that a permit would be issued if a new application was made for the same thing? Was the time originally allowed sufficient? Has the total time which has been available to implement the permit been more than sufficient? What are the economic consequences for the land owner if the permit is not extended? Is the land owner displaying any real intention to act on the permit within a reasonable time frame? For more information read the decision of the Supreme Court in Kantor v. Murrindindi Shire Council 18 AATR 285.

    Read more about how to prepare for your final hearing.

  • Arrive at VCAT with plenty of time so that you are not late for your hearing. Go directly to the hearing room, do not wait for your case to be called. Write your name on the appearance sheet for your case, the appearance sheet will found on the hearing room table. The hearing gives all parties a chance to give and hear evidence, ask questions, call witnesses and provide supporting documents. Each party has a brief right of reply at the end of the hearing. Read more about what to expect on final hearing day.

  • The VCAT member may give their decision at the end of the hearing. If they need more time or a site visit they normally give a decision within six weeks of the last hearing date. The VCAT member may give reasons for the decision verbally or in writing. If you want the reasons in writing, make the request within 14 days of the hearing date. Read more about what to expect after the final hearing.