Permit Reviews Explained

Applications for permits to alter or change a property or object listed in the Victorian Heritage Register are decided by the 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 request a review by the Heritage Council of Victoria.

PLEASE NOTE: Reviews of permit applications that were made to the Executive Director before 1 February 2024 will be conducted in accordance with the Heritage Act as it was prior to 1 February 2024.

More detailed information on how the Heritage Council will conduct its proceedings, for each version of the Heritage Act can be found in the Heritage Council’s Protocols.

Who can request a Permit Review?

You can request a review of the refusal of a permit if you are:

  • the person who applied for the permit
  • the owner of the property or object
  • the government asset manager of the property or object
  • a person with a real and substantial interest in the place or object.

For permit applications made before 1 February 2024, you can request a review of the conditions attached to the permit if you are:

  • the person who applied for the permit
  • the owner of the place or object
  • the government asset manager of the place or object.

For permit applications made on or after 1 February 2024, you can request a review of the conditions attached to the permit if you are:

  • the person who applied for the permit
  • the owner of the part of the registered place or object the permit relates to
  • the government asset manager of the part of the registered place or object the permit relates to.

Requests for a review must be lodged within 60 days of the Executive Director’s decision by filling out Heritage Council Form C – Request for a Permit Review, available via the HCV Hub. This form asks you to detail the reasons why you want to request a review of the decision.

Permit review fees

Permit reviews are subject to fees set out in the Heritage Regulations 2017. Please refer to the fee schedule for further information regarding fee payments. Fees are able to be paid directly via the HCV Hub. 

Using the HCV Hub for Permit Reviews and Hearings

The HCV Hub is the Heritage Council of Victoria’s online platform for lodging forms and submissions in relation to its regulatory processes, conducted pursuant to the Heritage Act 2017. All forms, submissions and hearing-related material is to be lodged with the Heritage Council by way of the HCV Hub. In turn, all hearing-related correspondence and material will be made available to those participating in hearings and reviews via the HCV Hub.

Where a person or organization is unable to access the HCV Hub for the purpose of lodging forms and submissions, they should liaise with the Secretariat.

Where a protocol or the Act requires the ‘lodgment’ or ‘submission’ of forms etc. to be made ‘in writing’, this is to be done via the online forms on the HCV Hub.

Who can make a submission to the Permit Review?

The Heritage Council will appoint a Committee to conduct the Review. If a Hearing is to be held, the Committee will schedule a date and time for the Hearing. The following people can lodge detailed submissions:

  • the person who applied for the permit
  • the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria
  • the owner
  • the responsible authority
  • the relevant Municipal Council
  • the National Trust if the National Trust lodged a written submission with the Executive Director in relation to the permit application
  • any person the Committee allows who can provide more information.

Preparing a written submission

Written submissions must be lodged with the Heritage Council through the HCV Hub, by the deadline.

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

  • a written statement of any witness’s evidence
  • a written statement of any expert evidence
  • any photographic or audio/visual evidence
  • any audio-visual presentations
  • any proposed amendments to the original plans, accompanied by a Heritage Council Form F – Request to Amend Plans.

For further information regarding lodging amended plans, please refer to section 3.5 of Heritage Council Protocol 2 – Permit Reviews & Hearings.

Presenting your submission in person

You can also present your submission in person at the Registration Hearing, or have somebody else, including a legal representative, present on your behalf. To ask to verbally present your submission, complete and return Heritage Council Form D – Permit Review Hearing Participation Form, via the HCV Hub.

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

PLEASE NOTE: If you wish to present your submission in person, all arguments and relevant material must be provided in writing prior to the hearing.

Replying to submissions

Before the Permit Review hearing all the submissions will be circulated, via the HCV Hub, 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 respond to the material of others if you wish.

Replies to submissions (called ‘Submissions in reply’) must be lodged, via the HCV Hub, 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 Review Hearings are open to the public and the media. However, photography, video or audio recording will only be allowed if prior consent is given by the Council.

What happens at the Permit Review 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
  • the responsible authority
  • the National Trust
  • Other persons
  • the owner/s or government asset manager
  • the applicant.

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.

The conduct of expert witnesses is outline in Heritage Council Protocol 6: Expert Evidence.

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.

Adjourning a hearing

If you require more time you can request the Committee adjourn the Hearing, using Heritage Council Form E – Request for Adjournment, available on the HCV Hub.

Withdrawing from a Hearing

If you wish to withdraw from the process, you must advise the Committee as soon as practicable. You can do this directly via the HCV Hub.

Permit Review Hearing decisions

The Heritage Council will communicate their decision by:

Additional information

Further information about Permit Reviews and Hearings can be found in Heritage Council Protocol 2 – Permit Reviews & Hearings.

If you would like further information in relation to an upcoming Permit Review, please contact the Heritage Council via email at