Permit Appeals Explained

Permit Appeals explained

Applications for permits to alter or change a property or object listed in the Victorian Heritage Register are decided by Executive Director, Heritage Victoria, a part of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

Owners or applicants who are unhappy with the Executive Director’s decision about a permit can appeal to the Heritage Council of Victoria.

Who can request a Permit Appeal

Who can make a submission to the Permit Appeal Hearing

Preparing a written submission

Presenting a submission in person

Replying to other submissions

Who can attend

What happens at the Permit Appeal Hearing

Withdrawing or adjourning a hearing

Permit Appeal Hearing decisions

More information

Who can request a Permit Appeal

You can request an appeal against the refusal of a permit if you are:

  • the person who applied for the permit
  • the owner of the property or object
  • a person or organisation who has a real and substantial interest (Word 668 KB) in the property or object (e.g. community group, a historical association, a tenant or someone with a license or legal right).

You can request an appeal against the conditions attached to the permit if you are:

  • the person who applied for the permit
  • the owner of the property or object.

Appeals must be lodged within 60 days of the Executive Director’s decision by filling out the Permit Appeal form (Word 659 KB). This form asks you to detail the reasons why you want to appeal the decision.

Who can make a submission to the Permit Appeal Hearing

When a Permit Appeal Hearing is granted the Heritage Council will schedule a date and time for the Hearing and the following people can lodge detailed submissions:

  • the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria
  • the person who applied for the permit
  • the owner
  • any person the Committee allows who can provide more information
  • a person with a real and substantial interest in the property/object (when the Permit Appeal Hearing is about the refusal of a permit).

Preparing a written submission

Written submissions must be lodged with the Heritage Council by the deadline.

Submissions must include the material that you will rely on in making your case including:

Presenting your submission in person

You can ask to present a submission in person or have someone, including a legal representative, present it on your behalf by completing the Request to be Heard by HCV (Word 663 KB).

You can also nominate expert witnesses to support your case as well as presenting material in audio visual form.

Replying to submissions

Before the Permit Appeals Hearing all the submissions will be circulated to everyone involved in the form they are received. Please note that the Council does not redact personal information so please only provide information in submissions that you are happy to have circulated.

You can read and respond to one another’s material and evidence before the Hearing. Replying to other submissions is not compulsory but it allows you to review and challenge the claims of other parties.

Replies to submissions (called ‘Submissions in reply’) must be lodged by the deadline. These replies will also be circulated to all other parties before the hearing.

All submissions will be accessible to the public through the Freedom of Information Act.

Who can attend

Permit Appeal Hearings are open to the public and the media. However, photography, video or audio recording is banned.

What happens at the Permit Appeals Hearing

A Committee of at least three (3) members of the Heritage Council will conduct the hearing. A chairperson from the Committee will begin by explaining how things will run. The chairperson will make sure people stay to the time allocated for presentations and do not repeat points or comments made by others.

The Committee normally hears submissions in the following order:

  • the Executive Director
  • other parties eg the National Trust, any invited experts
  • the owner/applicant or their legal representative.

Asking questions

Direct questioning of expert witnesses by any party is allowed but the chairperson can disallow questions that are deemed inappropriate or badgering.

Questions to all presenters are allowed for the purposes of clarification with the chairperson’s permission.

Presenting your case

Your verbal submission should:

  • be as brief as possible
  • reflect the main arguments of the written material you have lodged
  • avoid restating points made by previous speakers
  • avoid introducing new material that has not previously been circulated.

Withdrawing or adjourning a hearing

If you change your mind you can withdraw your application from a hearing by writing to the Heritage Council without delay. If you require more time you can Request an Adjournment (Word 551 KB).

Permit Appeal Hearing decisions

The Heritage Council will communicate their decision by:

Additional information

Further information about Permit Appeals Hearings (Word 1 MB) or contact the Hearings Coordinator on 03 9651 5061.