Planning Permit Assessment


Assessment & Referrals

The Planning Officer will assess the application and determine if the application needs to be referred to external authorities and/or internal departments.

Assessments that require referrals may take longer to coordinate responses from internal and external authorities.

Who are Referral Authorities?

Referral authorities possess expertise and technical knowledge in specific areas of planning that may be needed for a Planning Officer to properly assess an application. For example, if a planning permit application is submitted for a property within a Flood way Overlay, the application would usually be referred to the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority for specific comments relating to the permit. The Wimmera CMA may then request that certain permit conditions be applied to the permit.

The most common referral authorities are:

  • CFA (for bushfire management related planning applications)
  • Wimmera Catchment Management Authority (for flood related planning applications)
  • DELWP (for planning applications that require the removal of native vegetation)
  • GWM Water (for planning applications within an environmental significance overlay)
  • Department of Transport (for planning applications that require/propose new access or roads to properties)
  • Powercor (for planning applications that require electricity distribution)

Applications can also be referred to internal departments at Council, including Environmental Health, Engineering and Open Space & Recreation teams. This also allows for more specialised comments on a Planning Application.

Request for Further Information (RFI)

After your Planning Permit application has been lodged, it is allocated to a Planning Officer for assessment.

The Planning Officer may request further information due to:

  • Incomplete documentation or information that is missing and important for a decision to be made
  • Complexities that need clarifying

If further information is required, the planning officer will send a request to the person listed as the contact on the application. The applicant can then update their application online by submitting the requested information.

What do I do if I get a Request for Further Information (RFI)

A Request for Further Information will detail what documents and/or information is missing from the application. If you are unsure about anything, contact the Planning Officer before submitting your information. It is important that you:

  • Follow the process for responding as outlined in your letter
  • Supply the information in the format requested
  • Consider engaging the support of a Planning Consultant to assist if it is complex

Please note: when responding to a Request for Further Information (RFI), the requested documentation should be submitted by updating your Greenlight submission.

How much time do I have to respond to an RFI?

If you receive a Request for Further Information, all amendments must be received by the indicated due date; this will generally be between 30 – 60 days from the date the RFI was issued.

The implications of not responding by the due date

If you do not provide all the requested information by the due date, the application will lapse and cannot be progressed further.

You would then be required to lodge a new Planning Permit application, including all relevant fees and information.

Extending the due date

If you are unable to respond to the RFI by the due date, you must seek an extension of time by submitting a request before the due date.

Track the progress of an Application

After your Planning Permit has been allocated to a Planning officer, you will be updated via an email notification at the following progress points in the assessment process:

  1. Lodgement of Application
  2. Request for Further Information
  3. Notification of Advertising
  4. Respond to Objections (if required)
  5. Notice of Council meeting date (if required)
  6. Notice of decision

You can contact Council at any time throughout the assessment process for clarification.

Public Notification (Advertising) Process

What happens when Public Notice is required?

If your planning permit application involves use or development of land that affects other properties, your application may be advertised. This may include:

  • Mail-out to surrounding owners and occupiers
  • Notices on site
  • Newspaper notes
  • Combination of the above

Planning applications currently being advertised are available to view on our website by clicking the link below.

Currently Advertised Applications

Documents are published for the sole purpose of enabling consideration and review as part of a Planning process under the Planning and Environment Act (1987). These documents must not be used for any purposes which may breach any Copyright or Privacy Laws.

Hard copies of any Planning Permit application being advertised can be made available to view by appointment at the Horsham Rural City Council Customer Service Centre.

The community are entitled to consider a proposal and its impact on them. Anyone can then submit objections or submissions for consideration by Planning Officers and Council.

Your Planning Officer may encourage early public engagement at the pre-application stage (Step 1) to reduce the likelihood of objections.

Please note that if advertising is required, an additional fee will apply to cover the costs. This cost can vary depending on the advertising requirements of each application.

What happens if objections are received?

If objections are received, you are able to provide a response to the objections or concerns raised or make changes to the proposal.

Objecting to a planning application

If an application negatively impacts someone, they may lodge an objection with Council. Objections must be provided in writing stating the reasons for the objection, including how the proposal would have an affect if the permit was granted. Objections can be submitted by following the link below and choosing the relevant planning application. You must then fill out the online submission form.

Objection/Submission for Advertised Applications


Applications are formally assessed, and a decision is made. There are 3 types of decisions that can be made on a planning permit application, these are:

  • Issue a permit
  • Issue a notice of decision to grant a permit
  • Refusal to grant a permit

Amending a Current Planning Application

After a Planning application has been submitted to Council for assessment, changes may be required.

This is referred to as a 'Section 50' or 'Section 57A' amendment. The type of amendment and associated fee will depend on whether or not the permit application has already been advertised.

  • A Section 50 amendment is applied if the application has not been advertised. No fees apply to these applications.
  • A Section 57A amendment is applied if the application has already been advertised. Fees apply to these applications.