Beware the Day Before your Lapse Date

Regular permit applicants will be aware that a permit application lapses if the further information required by the Responsible Authority (pursuant to Sec. 54 of the Planning and Environment Act) is not provided by the lapse date.

Section 54A of the Planning and Environment Act provides that a permit applicant may apply to the Responsible Authority to extend the time in which further information (requested under Sec. 54) must be provided. In doing so the applicant is effectively pushing out the lapse date associated with the application.

But don’t wait until the last day. A recent VCAT decision determined that a permit application had lapsed despite the permit applicant making a request to extend the lapse date on the day it was due to lapse.  The Tribunal appears to have relied on the wording of Sec. 54A (2) that specifies

An application for an extension of time must be made before the lapse date specified… (emphasis added)

So, applicants need to submit their requests for extensions of time before the lapse date – not on it.

Clause 1 recommends applicants lodge their requests to extend lapse dates by email one or two days prior to the lapse date. This allows the applicant to utilise the minimum 14 day grace period provided by Sec. 54a (6) which prescribes:

(6)     If the responsible authority decides to refuse to extend the time and, at the date of the decision, the lapse date has passed or will occur within the next 14 days, the notice must set out a new lapse date that is 14 days from the date of the decision

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