The Swan Hill Planning Scheme controls how land is used and developed.

Enforcement

The Swan Hill Planning Scheme controls how land is used and developed. This includes native vegetation and its protection.

Council is responsible for enforcing:

  • The Swan Hill Planning Scheme
  • Planning permits issued under the planning scheme, and
  • The Planning and Environment Act 1987

If you have a planning permit, it’s your responsibility to make sure you comply with all the permit conditions. This includes any approved plans.

What is the process if there’s a breach?

Our authorised Planning Officer will investigate if there’s an alleged breach of:

  • The Swan Hill Planning Scheme
  • The Planning and Environment Act 1987
  • Your permit conditions, or
  • A Section 173 agreement (the legal agreement between Council and the land owner)

The investigation might include interviewing yourself (as the landowner), builders and contractors, and (if required) the person who made the complaint.

What happens if there is a breach?

Council can issue a Planning Infringement Notice. This will include a penalty and what breaches need to be fixed.

If it’s more serious, Council can get an Enforcement Order from the Victorian and Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). This will also involve a hearing.

At the hearing, Council, the alleged offender and complainant will have to give evidence.

VCAT will then decide if there has been a breach and (if so) what needs to be done to fix the breach (including timeframes).

For the most serious breaches or if you don’t obey the VCAT decision, Council can prosecute through the Magistrates Court.

If you’re found guilty, you could be given large penalties, including fines and a possible recorded conviction.

Making a complaint

If you have a concern about a planning breach, please make your complaint in writing to our Planning Department.

Swan Hill Rural City Council
PO Box 488,
Swan Hill, Victoria 3585

Your complaint should include:

  • Your name, address and telephone number.
  • The address of the site of your complaint.
  • Details of your concerns.
  • Any other relevant information regarding your complaint.
For more information contact
Planning Department
Phone: (03) 5036 2352