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Rail Projects Victoria referrals process

The Secretary to the Department of Transport is the determining referral authority under the DDO. Rail Projects Victoria (RPV), a division within the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority (MTIA), is the project delivery team for the Metro Tunnel Project and acts on behalf of the Secretary in relation to referred applications under the DDO.

Advisory notes

To assist applicants to better understand the practical application of the design considerations for Metro Tunnel, RPV has prepared Advisory Notes which are concerned with common development scenarios arising in relation to the DDO. The relevant scenarios are:

  • Proposed development above or adjacent to tunnel infrastructure during the construction phase; and
  • Proposed development affecting both cut and cover and cavern railway stations.

The Advisory Notes have been prepared with a view to providing high level guidance to applicants with respect to the above scenarios. It should not be construed as an indication of whether RPV will object to a specific proposal, or as being a comprehensive outline of all matters which RPV will consider in assessing a proposal. In all cases, RPV will assess specific proposals against the applicable design considerations before advising the Responsible Authority of its objection or otherwise to a proposal which has been referred.

If you are unsure as to which Advisory Note might apply to your circumstances, please contact us. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact RPV in relation to their proposals so that specific advice may be provided during a pre-application meeting.

Referral process

The following diagram outlines the referral process which RPV will generally adopt in relation to applications where the DDO applies. Applicants are encouraged to follow this process and consult with RPV in relation to their planning permit applications from an early stage.

In some cases, the process by which RPV has input into an application for planning permission may differ from the referral process set out below. The primary circumstances where this will occur include where:

  • a Responsible Authority may notify RPV of applications in proximity to, but not within, the DDO through ordinary public notice procedures which apply to all planning permit applications. RPV assesses all applications it receives from the Responsible Authority and provides technical input as part of the public consultation process, although will not determine the outcome of the application in the same way as it would following referral; or
  • an application relates to a proposal which is unlikely to have significant implications for the development of Metro Tunnel, based on RPV’s assessment. In some circumstances such as these, it may be possible for RPV to provide early confirmation that it will not object to a proposal prior to lodging the application, such that later formal referral is not required if this occurs within three months of the application being lodged. However, the Responsible Authority will ultimately decide whether referral is required in accordance with clause 66 of the Victoria Planning Provisions.

Prior to lodging an application

Determine the need for referral

Identify whether the DDO applies. (Is my property Affected?)

Check if the proposed buildings or works need planning approval (Do I require a Planning Permit?)

If affected by the DDO and the buildings or works require planning approval, the proposal will need to be assessed by RPV on behalf of the Secretary to the Department of Transport.

(For complex cases, design may need further assessment and broader consultation with other agencies and stakeholders.)

Arrange a pre-application Meeting

Applicants are strongly encouraged to arrange a meeting with RPV prior to lodging their application with the Responsible Authority. This is an opportunity to discuss how the proposal interacts with the Metro Tunnel design considerations. (See Future Development Loading Report to Support GC82 (PDF, 5.8 MB)).

On a case by case basis, technical advice will be provided to assist with meeting the DDO objectives.

Applicants may choose to consider early engagement of a structural engineer to assist with this process, particularly where it is unclear if the proposal can meet the design objectives of the DDO. Planning of any geotechnical investigations will be important. A decision will not be made at this meeting.

Preparing plans for Planning Permit Application

Taking into account preliminary feedback from RPV and information received about the design considerations in the Metro Tunnel, applicants may need to make design modifications before submitting their application to the responsible authority. RPV will assist with ongoing advice regarding any design refinements before lodging an application with the Responsible Authority.

Apply for Pre-Application Consent from RPV

Alternatively, an Application for pre-planning advice can be submitted to RPV.

Preliminary feedback and technical information received during the pre-application meeting will assist with the design of the proposal before it is submitted.

Lodging application

Referral of application

After lodging of an application, the responsible authority will refer an application to RPV for assessment. RPV is a ‘determining referral authority’ under the applicable Planning Scheme for applications within the DDO. Some applications will also be sent to RPV under Section 52 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

Pre consent

*If RPV consents (with or without conditions) and it is within three (3) months of lodging the application, the referral requirements may be met under Section 66 of the VPPs.

A formal referral to RPV will not be required unless modifications to plans/documents submitted for Pre-Application consent are made.

Skip to last step

Review and assessment

RPV will assess the application against the design considerations for the Metro Tunnel (See Future Development Loading Report to Support GC82 (PDF, 5.8 MB)), taking into account the design objectives set out in the schedule to the DDO. RPV may request further information from the applicant to facilitate this assessment.





Response on application

As a determining referral authority, the outcome of RPV’s assessment will determine the responsible authority’s decision on the application. RPV may:

  • Not object to the proposal being approved where anticipated impacts on the Metro Tunnel are acceptable;
  • Not object to the proposal being approved, but require conditions to be included on any planning permit issued to ensure that anticipated impacts are acceptable; or
  • Object to the proposal, such that it cannot be approved.






After decision is made on the application

Comply with any specific conditions of approval

  1. Comply with specific conditions
  2. Amendments any existing planning permit condition link planning approvals

Applicants are encouraged to submit associated supporting materials to ensure a timely response.

Prior to lodging an application

Determine the need for referral

Identify whether the DDO applies. (Is my property Affected?)

Check if the proposed buildings or works need planning approval (Do I require a Planning Permit?)

If affected by the DDO and the buildings or works require planning approval, the proposal will need to be assessed by RPV on behalf of the Secretary to the Department of Transport.

(For complex cases, design may need further assessment and broader consultation with other agencies and stakeholders.)

Arrange a pre-application Meeting

Applicants are strongly encouraged to arrange a meeting with RPV prior to lodging their application with the Responsible Authority. This is an opportunity to discuss how the proposal interacts with the Metro Tunnel design considerations. (See Future Development Loading Report to Support GC82 (PDF, 5.8 MB)).

On a case by case basis, technical advice will be provided to assist with meeting the DDO objectives.

Applicants may choose to consider early engagement of a structural engineer to assist with this process, particularly where it is unclear if the proposal can meet the design objectives of the DDO. Planning of any geotechnical investigations will be important. A decision will not be made at this meeting.

Preparing plans for Planning Permit Application

Taking into account preliminary feedback from RPV and information received about the design considerations in the Metro Tunnel, applicants may need to make design modifications before submitting their application to the responsible authority. RPV will assist with ongoing advice regarding any design refinements before lodging an application with the Responsible Authority.

Alternatively, an Application for pre-planning advice can be submitted to RPV.

Preliminary feedback and technical information received during the pre-application meeting will assist with the design of the proposal before it is submitted.

If RPV consents (with or without conditions) and it is within three (3) months of lodging the application, the referral requirements may be met under Section 66 of the VPPs.

A formal referral to RPV will not be required unless modifications to plans/documents submitted for Pre-Application consent are made.

Skip to last step

Lodging application

Referral of application

After lodging of an application, the responsible authority will refer an application to RPV for assessment. RPV is a ‘determining referral authority’ under the applicable Planning Scheme for applications within the DDO. Some applications will also be sent to RPV under Section 52 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

Review and assessment

RPV will assess the application against the design considerations for the Metro Tunnel (See Future Development Loading Report to Support GC82 (PDF, 5.8 MB)), taking into account the design objectives set out in the schedule to the DDO. RPV may request further information from the applicant to facilitate this assessment.

Response on application

As a determining referral authority, the outcome of RPV’s assessment will determine the responsible authority’s decision on the application. RPV may:

  • Not object to the proposal being approved where anticipated impacts on the Metro Tunnel are acceptable;
  • Not object to the proposal being approved, but require conditions to be included on any planning permit issued to ensure that anticipated impacts are acceptable; or
  • Object to the proposal, such that it cannot be approved.

After decision is made on the application

Comply with any specific conditions of approval

  1. Comply with specific conditions
  2. Amendments any existing planning permit condition link planning approvals

Applicants are encouraged to submit associated supporting materials to ensure a timely response.