The previous Planning Minister put forth new planning zones in good faith. In the residential areas they are the Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ) ,the General Residential Zone (GRZ)and the Residential Growth Zone (RGZ) . Other residential zones include those applicable for Towns and Low Density . Unfortunately some recent VCAT decisions put a spanner in the works as far as the transition provisions would apply in the new zones. A loophole in the Act denied those transistion rights to an Applicant if one made any design changes after new zone came into efect and before a decision had been made by the Council.This was even more problematic if the zone changed to the restrictive Neighbourhood Residential Zone. What that meant was quite a lawyers picnic and the jury is still sort of out on that. This is what is happening: You applied for a four unit subdivision development on your property while the zone was the old Residential Zone (R1Z) which allowed more than two units (2 new lots) on your land. Then midway after planning submission it changedfromR1Z to the NRZ, whose Schedule allowed a maximum of two lots . The Council Request for Further Information (RFI) required you to amend the four unit design. No matter how insignificant the request was- like a small change in the roof pitch or a window be relocated- the moment you made any such design change, your protection from any transition provisions expired and you now fell out of the generosity of the R1Z and into the restrictive NRZ where a maximum of two units would be allowed! The alternative was to study the RFI in depth and only make changes which do not change the design and built form and layout in any way. The penalty would then be a Council refusal for the four unit Application for failing to respond to the design changes it requested. But you still remained under the old General Residential Zone. You appeal the decision at VCAT under the R1Z and you can make all the design changes under the protection of VCAT! And you appeal the four unit application at VCAT and not the two unit as it currently stood. Sounds silly; the new zones were supposed to lighten the load on VCAT but the opposite is occurring. By the way, check the Schedule to the NRZ- it might not restrict you to a two lot subdivision! Some councils allow up to four unit property subdivisions as long as you respect Neighbourhood Character ( the N word)- the jury is till out on that dirty N word!