Dear Editor,

Thank you for your recent article on planning applications that are at advertising. It was most interesting.

You may not be aware that there are many applications lodged and fees paid and still have not had a preliminary assessment by Hepburn Shire.

In our case our planning application to convert a garage into a bedroom & ensuite was lodged three months ago on 12 May 2023 and is still pending “preliminary assessment”.

Worse, a representative of the Planning Department wrote to acknowledge our application to provide “Indicative timeframes we strive to meet following the submission of a valid application”. It gives the steps the Shire will take in 1-14 days, 14-28 days etc, all of which are “pie in the sky”.

When you try & ring the planning department you get a recording asking you to leave a message and they will try & respond in two working days.

I know the Shire is short staffed but it would be professional if they could at least indicate their likely delays and a real timeframe of when they will process a planning application.

And in our case perhaps they could indicate when our application, lodged 113 days ago, might get a preliminary assessment.

David Owen