Apply for a planning permit under Part 4 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (the Act).

Anyone can apply for a planning permit to remove or vary a registered restrictive covenant. The application must be:

  • signed by the owner of the land, or
  • accompanied by a declaration that you’ve notified the owner about the application.

Make the application to the responsible authority (see below). You must include a copy of the restrictive covenant and information clearly identifying each lot benefited by the restrictive covenant (refer to section 47(1) of the Act).

You should discuss your proposed application with the responsible authority before you finalise and submit it. They can provide advice about the kinds of supporting information you need to submit with the application.

Responsible authority

Usually the local council is the responsible authority, but sometimes it will be the Minister for Planning or some other person / authority.
Refer to the schedule to Clause 61.01 of your planning scheme to identify the responsible authority.

Notice of an application

Notice of an application to remove or vary a restrictive covenant must be:

  • given to all owners and occupiers of land who benefit from the restrictive covenant (subject to some conditions set out in section 47(2) of the Act)
  • placed on the site subject to the application, and
  • published in the local newspaper.

People can object to your application.

Special requirements for granting a permit

You need to meet strict requirements to be granted a planning permit to remove or vary a registered restrictive covenant. The requirements are set out in sections 60(2) and (5) of the Act.

Section 60(2) applies to restrictive covenants created on or after 25 June 1991: a planning permit can’t be granted to remove or vary a registered restrictive covenant unless the responsible authority is satisfied that any benefiting landowner will be unlikely to suffer material detriment, including financial loss or loss of amenity.

Section 60(5) applies to restrictive covenants created before 25 June 1991: a planning permit can’t be granted to remove or vary a restrictive covenant if a benefiting owner has objected, or if there is any chance that a benefiting owner may suffer detriment of any kind (even if that benefiting owner did not object). This test is very stringent and it may be difficult to prove that there would be no detriment.

Review

If the responsible authority refuses to grant your planning permit, you can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a review of the decision.

If the responsible authority decides to grant a permit, and a person has objected to the proposal, the objector can apply to VCAT for a review of the decision.

Application assessment

The rules in the Act for regular permit applications also apply to applications to remove or vary a restrictive covenant.

This means that:

  • the responsible authority must consider what detriment would be caused to a benefiting land owner by the removal or variation, and
  • the limitations on the granting of a permit set out in section 61(4) of the Act apply to an application for removal or variation.

More information about the planning permit process.