Short cases – Planning disputes

How to apply for a short case at VCAT.

If your planning dispute isn’t complex and can be handled in a short amount of time, you can apply to have your case heard as a short case. VCAT may also decide to hear a case as a short case.

Short cases should be able to be heard and an outcome reached in one to two hours. They generally involve a small number of parties and you usually get the decision about your dispute at the end of the hearing.

We don’t usually visit the land or a site in a short case, so you should be prepared to use photos, plans and other media to explain your case.

How to apply to be heard as a short case

You should apply for your case to be heard as a short case when you complete your application form.

If you have already applied, you can request that your case is heard as a short case at any time. If the hearing date has already been set you will need:

Estimated time to VCAT

We have put in place a range of measures to reduce our current backlogs and the time it takes to have a hearing. We are gradually reducing the number of cases that have been on hold, and will contact you as soon as it’s possible to take the next steps in your case.

If your case can be heard as a short case, we estimate 12 weeks from the time you lodged your application to a hearing.

How to prepare for a short case

Before the hearing you will be asked to provide documents and information. This may include:

  • details of the site, including dimensions, area, levels, features, use and development
  • copies or electronic images of the locality plan and site and area if possible
  • a description of the proposal and any decision made by relevant authorities
  • planning scheme provisions
  • other relevant background information
  • an explanation of your position with short reasons and arguments in support of your decision.

At the hearing you should be ready to speak to all the information in your case in under 30 minutes.

Use our submissions in short cases template to make sure you include all the relevant information for your case.

Make an application

Choose the Short Cases List when you complete your VCAT application.


Related pages

Prepare your submission for the hearing

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

How VCAT makes decisions in Planning cases

Understand how we come to a decision when we hear a planning case at VCAT.

Hearings ‘on the papers’

We may make a decision on your case based on written submissions of the parties, without a face-to-face hearing.