5. Object to a planning permit application

What to do when a planning permit application affects your property

View the plans

If a planning permit application is advertised near your property or you receive a letter about a planning permit application and you are concerned about the way the proposal may affect you or your property, you can view the plans.

View the plans and the public notices for advertised planning permit applications on the Council website.

You can also visit Moreland Civic Centre to see the plans and discuss the proposal with a Council planning officer.

You will need the planning permit application reference number and the address (on the public notice).

Meet with the Council planning officer

You can also Contact Council to make an appointment to discuss the application with the Council planning officer who is managing the application

If you have discussed a planning permit application with Council or the applicant and you still have concerns, then you can lodge an objection to Council.

You must submit your objection before the deadline on the Notice of Application for a Planning Permit.

Submit an objection

You may submit an objection to an advertised planning application.

We recommend you submit the objection during the advertising period, however, you may submit the objection until Council makes a decision on the application. The date when Council is able to make a decision is included with the planning application documents.

Some third party websites offer a function to object to a planning application. As Council does not control where these objections are sent and cannot guarantee that Council receives the objection, we recommend you use one of the following methods if you want to object to a planning application.


You can submit an objection to a planning permit online through the Council website.

Select the application in the list of advertised planning permit applications and click the 'Object' button at the bottom of the page.

You need to include:

  • your name, address, email address and telephone number, and
  • a clear statement explaining your reasons for the objection, ideally including any suggested changes that may address your concerns.

By post or in person

You can complete the Objection to an Application for a Planning Permit form (DOC 164Kb) or write a letter to Council.

You can submit your objection by post to Locked Bag 10, Merri-bek 3058 or in person to Moreland Civic Centre.

In your letter you must include:

  • planning permit application number
  • site address for the proposed development or use
  • your name, address and telephone number, and
  • a clear statement explaining your reasons for the objection and ideally include any suggested changes that may address your concerns.

What happens after you submit an objection

When Council receives your objection we will send you a letter confirming that your objection has been received.

As a requirement of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, Council must make all objections available for inspection.

Council will consider your submission when the planning permit application is processed.

We will send you a copy of the planning permit application decision.

Who makes the decision?

Council officers have delegated authority from Council to consider certain planning permit applications.

An application may not be approved under delegation if different objections are received from 10 or more different properties, except if the application is for less than four dwellings or complies with Council’s Design Excellence Scorecard.

Petitions, objections with multiple signatories are recognised as one objection.

Proforma objections (where the same objection is photocopied and signed by many people) are also recognised as only one objection when determining which applications are reported to a Council Planning and Related Matters meeting.

Applications not dealt with under delegation are reported to the Planning and Related Matters meeting.

The applicant and any objectors will be invited to attend this meeting when the application is considered. These meetings are usually held monthly.

All parties have a brief, usually a three-minute, opportunity to address the Councillors prior to a decision is made. Dates and agendas for the Council Meeting for Planning and other Related Matters can be found at Council’s web site.

Appeal to VCAT

If you still have concerns, you can apply for a review of the Council decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). VCAT is an independent tribunal. For more information see Appeal to VCAT.

Withdrawing an objection

You may want to withdraw your objection after you have discussed your concerns with Council or the applicant.

To withdraw your objection you need to write a letter to the City Development Branch, Merri-bek City Council, Locked Bag 10, Merri-bek 3058.

In your letter you must include:

  • planning permit application number
  • site address for the proposed development or use
  • your name, address and telephone number, and
  • a statement that says you withdraw your objection.

Council cannot accept a conditional withdrawal of objection, for example, "I will withdraw my objection if the developer removes the window”.

Community consultation meetings

Council endeavours to facilitate good planning outcomes, which is why we encourage you to make suggestions on how the development can be improved.

As part of the planning assessment, Council officers may contact you to discuss your concerns and may explore changes to the plans with the applicant to address your concerns.

In some cases, we may arrange a meeting to facilitate discussion with the applicant and you to assist a discussion between parties. If this happen, then 10 days prior to the meeting we will notify you in writing with date and time .

If a meeting is arranged for a planning permit application that you have made a submission or objected to, you will be notified in writing about the date and time 10 days prior to the meeting.

Related brochures and guidelines