Council will refer an application to any Referral Authority as directed by the planning scheme or to which it considers may have an interest in the application. In most circumstances Referral Authorities have 28 days in which to provide comment on an application. Council may also refer the application to any other public authority or group that may have an interest in the application.
Who are they?
Referral Authorities are often government or private corporations or organisations such as the local catchment management authority, the Country Fire Association, VicRoads or Telstra. The Referral Authorities are listed in the Moyne Planning Scheme.
Why they are referred to?
Council refers planning permit applications to other authorities for comment in order to ensure that the functions and works of that particular authority are not adversely affected by the permit, or also that particular authority may have to provide certain infrastructure to facilitate the proposed use or development, or that the authority may have powers to decide upon the granting of the permit.
What effect can a Referral Authority have on a permit?
A Referral Authority can have no effect or a significant effect on a planning permit depending on its status under the Planning and Environment Act 1987. Referral Authorities can impose certain conditions that have to be met in order for the permit to be granted, such as a CMA conditioning that a house must be raised a certain height in a flood zone area. A section 55 Authority can object to the issue of a permit in which case council must reject the granting of the permit. You can appeal the Council’s decision in VCAT if you are dissatisfied with conditions imposed a Referral Authority.