Major cases – Planning disputes

Understand what a major case is, and how to apply to be heard as a major case.

Major cases are heard sooner and can reach a resolution quicker than other planning cases.

To apply for a major case you must pay higher fees.

Most planning cases that are about the use or development of land are eligible to apply for the major cases list. It doesn’t matter what the estimated cost of the development is.

Before you apply to be heard as a major case

Check your section number

You can only apply to be heard as a major case if your planning dispute falls under these section numbers:

  • An application for a review of a decision by a permit applicant (sections 77, 79, and 80)
  • An application to cancel or amend a permit (section 87A)
  • An application to transfer a case for a review of a decision by an objector (section 82 or 82B)

Transfer of an objector application (section 82 or 82B)

If you are the permit applicant, you can apply to transfer an objector application to the major cases list by completing the application form. This means the case will be heard sooner.

If you apply to have the case transferred to the major case list you must pay a transfer fee and the hearing fee(s).

You only need to complete one application to be heard as a major case, even if there is more than one application by objectors.

Time limits

If your case is under sections 77, 79, 80 and 87A:

You must apply to have your case heard as a major case when you submit your original application to VCAT.

You cannot have your case added to the major cases list after you have submitted your application.

If your case is under sections 82 or 82B:

If you are the permit applicant, you can apply to have the case heard as a major case after an objector has applied for a review of a permit decision to VCAT. 

Estimated time to VCAT

Due to COVID-19 these timeframes do not currently apply. It will take longer to hear from us about the next steps.

  • If your case is heard as a major case, we ask you to attend a compulsory conference. We will contact you to tell you the date you need to come to VCAT. Many disputes are resolved at a compulsory conference.
  • If your dispute isn’t resolved at the compulsory conference, we estimate 9 weeks from the compulsory conference to a hearing.
  • If your dispute is heard as a major case, the date of your hearing generally can’t be changed (adjourned). 

Learn more about changing the date you come to VCAT

Fees

Application fees
  • Application to enter the Major Cases List Standard fee
    Matters valued from $1 to $1 million $3050.90
    Matters valued between $1,000,001 and $5 million $3302.60
    Matters valued between $5,000,001 and $15 million $3717.30
    Matters valued between $15,000,001 and $50 million $4132.00
    Matters valued $50,000,001 or more $4546.70
    Matters with no monetary value $3302.60
    Permit applicant fee to transfer objector application to Major Cases List $2443.70
  • Application to enter the Major Cases List Corporate fee
    Matters valued from $1 to $1 million $3050.90
    Matters valued between $1,000,001 and $5 million $3302.60
    Matters valued between $5,000,001 and $15 million $3717.30
    Matters valued between $15,000,001 and $50 million $4132.00
    Matters valued $50,000,001 or more $4546.70
    Matters with no monetary value $3302.60
    Permit applicant fee to transfer objector application to Major Cases List $2443.70
  • Application to enter the Major Cases List Concession fee
    Matters valued from $1 to $1 million $3050.90
    Matters valued between $1,000,001 and $5 million $3302.60
    Matters valued between $5,000,001 and $15 million $3717.30
    Matters valued between $15,000,001 and $50 million $4132.00
    Matters valued $50,000,001 or more $4546.70
    Matters with no monetary value $3302.60
    Permit applicant fee to transfer objector application to Major Cases List $2443.70

How to apply

If you are applying for a review of a decision by a permit applicant (sections 77, 79, and 80), or to cancel or amend a permit (section 87), select major case when you apply to VCAT.

If you are applying to transfer a case for a review of a decision by an objector (section 82 or 82B), complete the online form, or download and complete the form and send to VCAT via email or in person.

Related pages

Practice day hearings

In a practice day hearing a VCAT member makes decisions about who can be part of the case, how the dispute should be managed and how much time it will take. Read more.

Compulsory conferences

Compulsory conferences are where parties confidentially discuss ways to resolve their dispute with the help of a VCAT member. Read more.

Prepare your submission for the hearing

Before your planning dispute is heard at VCAT, you’ll need to prepare a submission. Read more.