report from the roundtable – 25 feb
At the last meeting of council I happened to
ask about an application as we’d received a petition objection to the
application that night. I was concerned about the length of time it was taking for the application
to come back to council as it was, for all intents and purposes, a repeat
application with revised acoustic treatment (for a Go Kart facility in
It was advised that the application had been ‘called
out’ by the Ward Councillor, Cr Andy Witlox, meaning that the application would
not come before council for a decision and the decision would be made by planning officers who
through the call out had been given the ‘delegated authority’ to make the
Given 11 households were represented on the
petition I went on to ask whether objectors would be notified that the
application had been called out and wouldn’t be coming to council for a decision
as per the expectations of the objectors. Usually any application with more than 5 objections would come to council for a decision. It was confirmed that objectors would
only be notified once a decision had been made and would have appeal rights through
I went on to ask if objectors had been
notified or were aware of the call out. This could not be confirmed.
This is of concern to me, in terms of being in the spirit of open and
transparent decision making. I’ve also discussed call in/call out powers with
councillors from other councils and it seems that different councils approach delegations in
many different ways, some not having any ability to call out planning
applications at all.
Next time council reviews its delegations and
call in/call out powers I’ll be suggesting some policy changes to ensure we
have a more open and transparent process that both considers the needs of the
applicant and the objectors.
Here’s an extract of our minutes
from the night:
12. ITEMS RAISED THROUGH THE CHAIR
12.1 Petition - Objection to Planning Permit YR-2013/1026, 238-240
Maroondah Hwy (Part Lot 1 LP88498) Chirnside Park.
Cr Dunn referenced a petition received by Council objecting to a go kart
application in Chirnside Park. Cr Dunn asked the following questions to Andrew
Paxton, Director Planning Building & Health:
When will the application be brought back to Council?
Andrew Paxton advised that the application had been called out by the
Ward Councillor for a delegated decision.
Will the objectors listed in the petition be notified of the application
coming to Council as part of the planning process?
Andrew Paxton advised that the 11 objectors to the application would not
be advised of the callout of the application by the Councillor, but would be
notified of the decision and would have 21 days to appeal the decision.
Had there been any meetings or correspondence with objectors in relation
to the call out?
Andrew Paxton advised that he did not know the answer but would be able
to obtain the information and advise Cr Dunn.
Labels: chirnside park, cr samantha dunn, planning application, yarra ranges