Statement of grounds

A statement of grounds Definition A statement from the respondent setting out reasons about whether they agree or disagree with the applicant and about what they say in their application. Also called a defence or 'points of defence'. sets out your reasons for contesting a current planning and environment case at VCAT.

How to lodge a statement of grounds

You must lodge a statement of grounds by the date stated on the VCAT order.

You must fully explain your reasons for contesting the case.

You can participate at the hearing Definition The time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. or compulsory conference Definition Compulsory conferences are confidential meetings where parties discuss ways to resolve their dispute with the help of a VCAT member. by choosing to be a party Definition A person or organisation directly involved in a VCAT case, including a person or organisation that has brought the case before VCAT or who is defending claims made against them. to the case.

If you want to become a party to the case, you must pay a lodgement fee when you give VCAT your statement of grounds.

If you choose not to become a party to the case, you do not pay a lodgement fee but you cannot participate at the hearing or compulsory conference. Your statement of grounds will still be considered if we receive it by the due date.

You must provide copies of the statement of grounds to VCAT, the applicant Definition The person or organisation applying to VCAT. and the responsible authority by the date stated in the VCAT order. You can do this by email, by post or in person.

Withdrawing your objection

If you want to withdraw your objection after lodging your statement of grounds, you must tell VCAT, the applicant and the responsible authority in writing. You will then be withdrawn from VCAT's record and receive no further correspondence.

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.

Need help with your application?

We can explain the application process and what the form is asking you for. Contact us to get support.

We cannot give you legal advice. This means we cannot tell you what to write in your application or recommend how to get the outcome you want.

Seek legal help if you are unsure about your options or need advice about your claim. The following services may be able to help 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