D'Agostino was a Supreme Court appeal by the D'Agostinos
against the decision of the Victorian Civil and Administrative
Tribunal (VCAT) in D'Agostino v Greater
Shepparton CC  VCAT 573.
In the VCAT case, VCAT affirmed the responsible authority's
decision not to extend the time within which development under the
D'Agostinos' planning permit must be completed. The
D'Agostinos were successful on appeal, with the Supreme Court
holding that VCAT fell into error in its reasoning with respect to
warehousing permits and change of planning policy.
On the question of warehousing, VCAT had found that there had
been limited progression of the development and so there had been
warehousing. The D'Agostinos successfully argued that VCAT had
failed to take into account the fact that they had undertaken work
offsite, which they argued demonstrated they were progressing with
their development and not warehousing the permit. With
respect to change in planning policy, the D'Agostinos argued
that notwithstanding VCAT's finding that there had been changes
in planning policy that might be a factor warranting a new planning
permit application, VCAT had failed to identify the relevant
changes in planning policy.
The decision highlights how fraught decision-making can be when
decision-makers are called upon to consider what is relevant and
what is not relevant in the exercise of a discretion.
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