Making a representation

A written submission in support or in opposition to an advertised (discretionary) planning application is called a representation.

These discretionary applications are made public:

  • within the Public Notice section of The Mercury on weekdays
  • on the City of Hobart website
  • on all frontages of the property
  • in writing to all adjoining neighbours.

The plans and documentation relating to an advertised application can be viewed on the Development Portal and are also made available to you at the Hobart Council Centre, 16 Elizabeth Street, Hobart.

How to make a representation

Representations must be made in writing and can be submitted in various ways:

Representations submitted using the online form or by email must be received no later than 11.59 pm on the closing date.

  • Mailed to the Chief Executive Officer, GPO Box 503, Hobart TAS 7001
  • Hand-delivered to the Customer Service Centre, 16 Elizabeth Street, Hobart during office hours.

Representations submitted by mail or hand-delivered must be received no later than 5.15 pm on the closing date.

Time to make a representation

You are able to lodge a representation within 14 days from the day it is advertised. The representation closing date is provided in all notices.

It is important that you submit your representation by the closing date. While it is possible for the City to grant an extension of time to file a late representation, up to a further 14 days, this will depend on a number of factors and you should not rely on an extension being granted. If an extension is not granted then you will not have the right to appeal the City's decision.

The City is only required to consider valid representations.

What to include in your representation

A written representation should include:

  • your contact details – we require either an email address or a mailing address
  • the address of the planning permit application or our reference number
  • the nature of the merits or concerns with the proposed planning application.

Please note that if you provide your email address and a postal address then we will contact you by mail. It is the City of Hobart's preference to be able to contact you by email.

To be effective, your representation should only raise matters addressed in the relevant planning scheme and provide reasons for the objection. The issues addressed in your representation should relate to relevant provisions of the planning scheme (Hobart Interim Planning Scheme 2015 or Sullivans Cove Planning Scheme 1997). Some common examples of valid concerns with an application include:

  • type of land use is not appropriate
  • appearance or character
  • overshadowing – e.g. shadows cast by the proposed building
  • traffic generated
  • insufficient parking
  • proposed development is at odds with the requirements of the planning scheme.

Getting help with your representation

City of Hobart Development Appraisal Officers are able to assist you in interpreting and understanding plans and documentation submitted with an application during the public exhibition period. We recommend that you book an appointment with a planner. To do so, use our online planning appointment form or call us on 03 6238 2711.

City officers are not able to discuss with you the merits of the development or possible arguments against it. The officers will provide an objective assessment of the application in accordance with the requirements of the relevant planning scheme and do not act on behalf of the developers or any person objecting to it.

To help prepare the most effective representation, especially for a complex application, you can engage a private planning consultant. A planning consultant can undertake a review of the relevant planning scheme and the proposed development and help identify and explain those valid concerns to include in a representation.

To find a planning consultant, visit the Planning Institute of Australia website.

Who will see your representation

A developer will not see your representation and the City of Hobart will not disclosure your name or contact details to the developer, unless you provide your consent to do so. It may be preferable to provide your consent so that the developer understands your concerns properly and is able to contact you to discuss them.

Your full representation will be considered as part of the decision to approve or refuse a proposal. If the decision is made under delegation, then the Officer making the decision will read your representation and take it into account. If the decision is made by the Elected Members then they will receive and review the full representation. The representations are not published as part of the agenda papers, to protect the privacy of representors. The report which is provided to the Elected Members as part of the agenda papers will provide a summary of the issues raised in all of the representations.

If the decision made by the City of Hobart is appealed to the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (TASCAT) then your representation, including your name and contact details will be provided to the Tribunal, the developer and any other party to the appeal.

What happens after you make your representation

Depending on the circumstances, an application may be determined by a City Officer or the Planning Committee.

If the decision is made by an Officer under delegation, then the Officer making the decision will read your representation and take it into account. You will not have any further involvement in the decision making process.

If the decision is made by the Planning Committee then all Elected Members will receive and review your full representation. It may also be possible for you to make a deputation at the Committee meeting (which is explained further below).

After the decision is made, you will be notified of the decision in writing and will be provided with a copy of the planning permit or reasons for refusal.

Making a deputation (verbal presentation)

You may also have an opportunity to make a deputation (verbal presentation) to the Planning Committee. This option is not always possible due to tight and strict timeframes under the applicable legislation.

If you provide us with an email address, we will update you on when the application will be considered by the Planning Committee at one of its fortnightly meetings. The number of deputations heard for an item are at the discretion of the Chair of the Planning Committee. A deputation is not an essential part of the decision making process and if you do not wish to make a deputation then the concerns you have already raised in your representation will still be taken into account.

To register to make a deputation to the Planning Committee, please complete the deputation registration form. Alternatively, please contact the City's Council Support Officer on 03 6238 2711 or via email at A City of Hobart staff member will contact you to confirm the next steps.

If you register to make a deputation to the Planning Committee then the City of Hobart will automatically contact the developer to ascertain whether they also wish to make a deputation. A developer may also initiate making a deputation to the Committee.

Conciliation services

Council now provides a conciliation service for disputes relating to planning applications.

The following information is intended to assist you in understanding the conciliation process and the requirements for the City of Hobart's Conciliation Policy.

What is conciliation?

Conciliation is a voluntary process, where people in a dispute can come together to find a solution to their dispute with the assistance of an independent and impartial Conciliator.

What happens at the conciliation?

The Conciliator will conduct a meeting with the applicant and persons who have made a representation (or in the case of a large number of such people their representatives) to discuss their concerns and issues in relation to the planning application. The parties will be advised of the venue for the meetings.

The conciliator helps the parties to explore options and assists the parties to reach agreement. The Conciliator does not make recommendations or decisions on how the issues should be resolved, and is neutral and independent from the City of Hobart.

There will be no Elected Members present at the conciliation. City of Hobart Officers will attend to provide advice and assistance where possible.

What are the steps in conciliation?

If you would like to participate in the conciliation service, the following steps are involved:

  1. Lodge a completed request for conciliation form(PDF, 40KB)
  2. The request for conciliation application will be considered and it will be determined if the matter is one (given the issues identified in the application) that can be dealt with through conciliation.
  3. If it is considered that conciliation should be undertaken, the other parties will be asked if they wish to participate. If all parties agree, the matter will proceed. If one party refuses, the conciliation will not proceed.
  4. If the matter proceeds, the parties and the conciliator then conduct the conciliation at a mutually convenient time and place within 21 days of the receipt of the request for conciliation application. The conciliation will result in a signed agreement, a partial agreement or no agreement at all.

How does the conciliation affect City's assessment of the planning application?

The City's Development Appraisal Unit will continue their assessment of the planning application while the conciliation process takes place. This can include the assessment by other areas of the City including traffic, stormwater, environment, etc. If an agreement is reached and all parties agree, then this information is generally forwarded to the Planning Officer for consideration in assessing the planning application. Any agreement must still comply with relevant legislation and planning scheme provisions.

If the matter is called before Council, the outcome of the conciliation regardless of whether an agreement is reached or not will be included in the report to Council. One speaker from each side may also be given the chance to address the Planning Committee at its meeting. In this case you will need to contact a Council Support Officer on 03 6238 2711 for further details.

What is required for residents to attend the conciliation?

Every person attending the conciliation should be:

  • prepared to discuss their needs, concerns and interests
  • be prepared to listen to the needs, concerns and interests of others at the conciliation
  • be prepared to negotiate in a genuine effort to reach a solution.

Appeal rights

If you have made a valid representation then you are entitled to appeal the decision to grant a permit or to join an appeal against a decision to refuse an application.

Appeals may only be lodged with the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (TASCAT). An appeal must be made within 14 days after the day on which notice of the granting of the permit (or refusal) is provided by the City of Hobart to a representor.

Please note that the Tribunal with not directly notify representors if an appeal is lodged by an applicant. You may either look for the notice of appeal, which will be published in The Mercury, or contact the Tribunal directly.

The Tribunal can be contacted by phone on 1800 657 500, online on the TASCAT website, or by mail to GPO Box 1311, Hobart TAS 7001. The Tribunal has a required form and a prescribed fee for making an appeal.