By now you may be aware (or soon will be) of the fee increases now in place when making a application for the review of planning permit applications to VCAT under the provisions of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (P&E Act).
Fees have been set to increase over two months with the first substantial increase in a number of years now in place from 1 June this year and a further increase to follow from July 1 2013. Further fee increases will follow within the next three year period to 2015.
Of most interest to permit applicants and objectors are the fee increases to the four most common applications to VCAT which are as follows:
- Applications to Appeal against a decision to refuse a planning permit (under Section 77 P&E Act 1987);
- Applications to Appeal against Councils failure to make a decision after the statutory period of 60 days (under Section 79 P&E Act);
- Applications to Appeal against conditions of a permit (under Section 80 P&E Act)
- Objectors Appeals against the granting of a planning permit (under Section 82 P&E Act)
- Fees for these applications for developments estimated at under $1million have now increased from $322.00 to $785.60 from June 1 2013 with a further fee increase from July 1 2013 to $805.10. Fees will increase further over the next two years to $1007.40 in 2015.
- For developments estimated $1 million or more (and not included in the Major cases list) fees for these applications have substantially increased from $322.00 to $1516.10 from 1 June 2013. These fees are set to increase further from 1 July 2013 to $1553.60. Fees will increase further over the next two years to $2014.80 in 2015.
Another change to the fee structure as of 1 June 2013 is that estimated developments were formerly separated into two fee categories, those estimated at $1-5 million (former fee was $322.00) and those estimated at over $5 million, (former fee was $1290.60) which provided a more equitable fee structure relative to the cost of the development.
As of 1 June this year only one fee category exists from with no longer any distinction for all developments estimated at over $1 million to $10 million.
- For developments which either do not include a dwelling and are listed on the major cases list
OR for which the estimated cost of development is $10 million or more and is entered in the major cases list the fee increases from $3188.00 to $3257.00 from June 1 2013 and increases further to $3338.40 from July 1 2013
These increases clearly aim to increase fee costs for developments between $1 million and $10 million however it appears less equitable for those developments (for dwellings) marginally over $1 million caught up in the new fee structure.
In particular the issue for objectors to applications for any development estimated over $1 million is whether the increased fees to appeal an application costs are prohibitive e.g a development valued at $2 million the cost to appeal a planning permit has increased by 470%
Another substantial change to the fee structure previously highlighted in BDAV Tid Bits issue February 2013, are the new Hearing fees which have been introduced for the second and subsequent days of hearing (including part-heard matters), with a higher fee for complex cases requiring a second member.
For further information regarding changes to hearing fees or any other matter please contact us at Clause 1 Pty Ltd on 9370 9599. Link for further information : http://www.vcat.vic.gov.au/news/vcat-fees-effective-1-june-2013