If direct referral is granted can an applicant then decide not to proceed to the Environment Court?
If a request for direct referral is granted, the applicant may still decide not to proceed to the Environment Court. The applicant should advise the council if the application is not proceeding to the Court.
If the application does not proceed to the Court, the application must be determined by the council.
Section 88D(6) excludes the days from the initial request for direct referral to the day the applicant either informs the council that they no longer want the application to be directly referred or when the applicant fails to lodge a notice of motion (due 15 working days after receiving the councils 87F report). The clock starts again on the count it was up to prior to the excluded period.
The council then follows the normal process and must comply with the normal timeframes for a notified application. This means that if a hearing is to be held, it must be completed 75 working days from the date submissions closed for publicly notified applications and within 60 working days for limited notified applications. The decision must then be made 15 working days after the hearing. If no hearing is to be held, the council has 20 working days from the date submissions close to issue a decision.