Enforcement

Planning Schemes are designed to regulate use, development and protect native vegetation. A planning scheme is a law that regulates the way land can be used and developed.

It is the Council's responsibility by law to enforce the Greater Shepparton Planning Scheme.

Enforcement will occur when there is a clear breach of the Planning and Environment Act, the Planning Scheme, permit conditions or Section 173 agreement. The main emphasis of enforcement is to obtain compliance rather than prosecuting offenders, however, punishment is sometimes the only option as a deterrent.

Depending on the nature of the issue, the Council have a number of options available to gain compliance. Some of these options available to the Council are as follows:

  • Negotiate informally with the alleged offender to obtain compliance
  • Serve a Planning Infringement Notice (PIN) with an associated penalty of $738 for an individual, or $1,476 for a company
  • Apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for an enforcement order to achieve compliance
  • Apply to VCAT for an interim enforcement order where there is a need for immediate action
  • Request VCAT to cancel or amend a permit for substantial failure to comply with the conditions of a permit
  • Prosecution in the Magistrates Court. This may be needed to follow up either an PIN or an Enforcement Order

Other options may be available in certain circumstances.

Making a complaint

Complaints regarding non-compliance with the Greater Shepparton Planning Scheme, Section 173 Agreements, planning permit conditions or endorsed plans should be made in writing by completing a Complaint Form or writing a letter to:

Planning Investigations Officer
Planning Branch
Locked Bag 1000
Shepparton Victoria 3632.

Your complaint should contain:

  • The complainants name, address and contact telephone number.
  • The address of the site in question.
  • Details of the complaint.
  • Any other relevant information.

The Council prefers that all complaints are made in writing.

How does the Council act on a complaint

When the Council receives a complaint it is first determined whether a breach of the greater Shepparton Planning Scheme has occurred by making the following checks:

  • Is a planning permit required?
  • If so, is there an existing planning permit?
  • If so, what does the planning permit allow?
  • Is the nature of the complaint in breach of the permit condition(s) or endorsed plans?
  • Are there any other relevant planning controls?

If a breach of the scheme may have occurred the Planning Investigation Officer will then usually visit the site and personally inspect the problem. The facts of the matter will determine the exact investigative process.

Contact: Planning on 03 5832 9730 for more information.