Don’t Use the “A” Word

“Amendment” is a dirty word.

Regular readers should recall our recent piece entitled “New Zone Warning:  Making Amendments to your Application Could Render it Prohibited” which explained the impact of VCAT’s ruling in Samsons (Shoobra) Pty Ltd v Glen Eira CC [2014] VCAT P235. In that matter, the Tribunal determined that an amendment to an application, lodged after the implementation of the new residential zones, rendered the application as prohibited, because the applicant could no longer take advantage of the transitional provisions contained in the new residential zones.

As an adjunct to the issues highlighted in the Samson case Clause 1 has been involved in a number of discussions recently relating to ‘what constitutes an amendment to an application’.  Two of the critical elements of ‘an amendment’ are:

  1. An actual request by the applicant to amend the proposal (s.50) or;
  1. Approval from the applicant for Council to amend the application (s.50).

We would strongly advice applicant’s to not request amendments or approve any Council initiated amendments without fully understanding the implications of such actions.

We would also advocate careful contemplation of any written response to Council RFIs and strongly suggest applicants avoid using language such as; ‘amended’, ‘changes’, ‘alterations’ and alike when describing application material (plans, reports and other documentation) that is resubmitted to Council with the RFI response.

Seek Professional Advice
Information contained in this publication should be considered as a reference only and is not a substitute for professional advice. No liability will be accepted for any loss incurred as a result of relying on the information contained in this publication. Seek professional advice in specific circumstances.
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