Less than half of Brimbank’s planning applications are decided upon within required time frames, according to state government statistics.
The Know Your Council website shows 45.35 per cent of applications to Brimbank council were decided upon within the required period in the past financial year – significantly less than the 70.06 per cent average recorded by councils statewide.
Councils are given 10 days to decide upon VicSmart planning applications and 60 days for regular planning applications.
In 2015-16, 55 per cent of applications in Brimbank were approved within required time frames.
A response provided by the council the the state government website Knowyourcouncil attributed a portion of the delays to a switch to an electronic processing system.
However Brimbank city development director Stuart Menzies said the council’s desire to ensure the best possible result for both applicants and objectors means no decisions are rushed.
“As part of its community-first approach, last year Brimbank City Council introduced a new website that offers over 20 new online planning, building, engineering and city compliance services,” Mr Menzies said.
“The new website enables all planning permit applications to be lodged and processed electronically from start to finish.
“The council has received positive feedback about its online planning application lodgement services.”
On average, it takes the council 125 days to decide on a planning application – the statewide average is 72 days.
Mr Menzies said the delays were a necessity.
“The council prides itself on working collaboratively with applicants and objectors to achieve good outcomes on planning applications and often this takes some time to work towards the desired outcome,” Mr Menzies said.
“Council’s approach is to take the necessary time to negotiate better design of new development and ensure the concerns of residents are addressed.”
Mr Menzies said while Brimbank took longer than other councils in reaching a decision, it recorded a low number of refused applications, which also meant a low number of decisions challenged at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.