When VCAT starts a case – Planning disputes
When you apply to have your planning dispute heard at VCAT we send you an initiating order. Find out what to do next.
What is an initiating order?
We send an initiating order to everyone involved in a planning case.
The initiating order gives instructions to the person who applied to VCAT, and to any other parties involved in the case on what to do next.
Instructions in an initiating order will vary depending on the type of planning dispute and may tell you:
- who to send an application to
- how to give notice of the application
- how to join other people as a party
- when you need to fill out a statement of grounds
- any information that should be provided to VCAT and the other parties.
- how and when to communicate with VCAT and other parties
- about hearings or compulsory conferences
- if your case is a major case, short case or Fast Track case.
It’s important to follow the dates in the initiating order. These will tell you:
- when to send documents to other parties
- when to attend hearings and compulsory conferences.
Initiating orders for VicSmart applications
We send an initiating order for VicSmart applications 14
to send documents to the responsible authority. These include the application, the order, any attachments and any other material you sent to VCAT
- the date and time of the final hearing.
What happens next
When you've completed all the tasks in the initiating order, we move forward with your application.
What's a statement of grounds?
A statement that explains your position in the case, and whether you agree or disagree with the issues raised in the application.
For an objector in a planning dispute, the statement should briefly explain why you object to a decision about a planning permit. You can also attach the original objection you submitted to the council to show your reasons.
What's a compulsory conference?
A meeting where parties discuss ways to try to reach an agreement to settle their dispute, instead of VCAT deciding the case. The meeting is held in private with the help of a VCAT member.
All parties must come to the meeting, or have someone represent them. If an agreement is not reached, the case will go to a final hearing.
What's 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 a higher fee.
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.
What's a short case?
A type of case about a planning dispute that can be heard in two hours.
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.
Consent orders – Planning disputes
If you are involved in a planning dispute you can ask for a consent order to confirm an agreement between you and the other parties.
How VCAT makes decisions in planning cases
Understand how we come to a decision when we hear a planning case at VCAT.