A key recommendation of the Port Phillip Planning Scheme Audit Report 2018 was to introduce local VicSmart applications into the planning scheme.

The Victorian Government introduced VicSmart planning permit applications for certain types of development in 2014. In 2017 provisions were introduced so that councils could introduce their own additional VicSmart application types.

VicSmart is a streamlined assessment process for straightforward planning permit applications. An application identified in the Planning Scheme as being VicSmart has specified requirements for information, assessment processes and decision guidelines.

Key features of VicSmart include:

  • A 10-day application process.
  • Applications are not advertised and there are no third party appeal rights (i.e. objectors cannot appeal a decision to VCAT).
  • Information requirements are pre-determined.
  • What Council can consider when making a decision is limited.

Before VicSmart applications were introduced, in 2011 Council’s City Development Unit developed a Fast Track application stream for certain minor application types. This streamlines the assessment process of eligible minor applications to 10 days for the cost of an additional fee. Council also employs a Fast Track Planner to deal with these applications (and VicSmart ones).

It is proposed to introduce 11 new VicSmart application types for minor application types. Eleven of the application types are already processed through Council’s Fast Track service. These eleven types relate to planning permit triggers for minor buildings and works under the Heritage Overlay, Design and Development Overlay and commercial zones in addition to some types of signs. The one new category proposed is for certain liquor licence applications in limited circumstances.

This will essentially formalise and replace the Fast Track process and better utilise the state planning provisions. It will provide for a more streamlined process, with clearer expectations and timeframes for applicants and more efficient use of Council resources.

View information on Council's Fast Track planning permit application service.

View the 11 proposed Local VicSmart Provisions.

View the new information requirements and decision guidelines for heritage applications and liquor licenses.

View the VicSmart Strategic Assessment Report, containing further information about why local VicSmart applications are proposed.

View information provided by the Victorian Government on the VicSmart planning process.