Planning Panels Victoria
Planning Panels Victoria is responsible for the appointment, administration and conduct of independent planning panels, advisory committees, Ministerial call-ins relating to planning permit applications and environment effects inquiries.
On this page:
- What are planning panels?
- What does a panel do?
- What is the role of Planning Panels Victoria?
- Panel members
- Types of panels and committees
- Panel hearings
- Current advisory committees
- Panel and advisory committee reports
- VCAT and Planning Panels Victoria
- Annual Reports
- Further information
- Contact Planning Panels Victoria
What is a planning panel?
Planning panels are a means of providing public participation in the planning and environmental decision making process. They provide independent assessment of planning proposals through the consideration of submissions, the conduct of hearings and the preparation of reports.
Planning panels are advisory and make recommendations, with the final decision making being left to the appropriate statutory bodies or the Minister.
Planning panels are established either under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 or the Environment Effects Act 1978.
For more information read our brochures on planning panels and hearings;
The role of a panel is to:
- give submitters an opportunity to be heard in an informal, non-judicial manner
- give expert advice to the planning authority (usually the local council) or the Minister about a planning proposal
- inquire into all aspects of the proposal and submissions.
Planning panels are administered by Planning Panels Victoria, which is located within the Department of Planning and Community Development.
Planning Panels Victoria consists of the Chief Panel Member and six senior panel members. There are also approximately eighty sessional panel members. Individual panels are drawn from the seven full-time panel members and the pool of sessional panel members.
Sessional panel members provide a source of expertise on planning, architecture, urban design, engineering, environment and social planning. They are appointed to a panel as required depending upon the nature and complexity of the proposal being considered. Membership of the list of sessional panel members is reviewed on a regular basis.
Types of planning panels and committees
Planning panels are commonly appointed to hear submissions made about amendments to planning schemes and to make recommendations and advice about whether the amendment should proceed.
A panel may be appointed to consider other matters such as planning permits referred or called in by the Minister or applied for in conjunction with a planning scheme amendment.
Advisory committees may also be appointed by the Minister to consider specific proposals or to review planning policies.
Panel hearings are conducted in a relatively informal manner. People are encourage to represent themselves and may be present at the hearings at any time. Hearings are open to the public.
Directions hearings and panel hearing dates for a planning scheme amendment can be arranged prior to the commencement of the exhibition period for an amendment.
The Minister for Planning may appoint an advisory committee to consider specific development proposals or to review matters of planning policy.
Advisory committees are a means to obtain public input and assessment of issues.
Panel reports for planning scheme amendments are made available 28 days after the submission of the report and can be viewed on Amendments Online under the relevant planning scheme.
Advisory Committee and other types of Panel reports are released at the Minister's discretion. This usually happens once a final decision has been made about the matter under consideration.
All Panel and Advisory Committee reports (from circa 2000 onwards) can be viewed on the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) web site.
The appeals dealt with by the Planning Division of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) generally relate to decisions that have been made about planning permit applications, or in some circumstances, the failure of the planning authority to make any decision on an application.
Further information about Panels and the Panel process can be found in the PPV Guides and FAQs.
Planning Panels Victoria is located at:
Level 1, 8 Nicholson Street, East Melbourne, Victoria 3002
Telephone: (03) 9637 9691
Fax: (03) 9637 9700