Staged development applications or concept approvals?

On 30 June 2017, the NSW Government released a Bill to amend the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 (EPA Act) to replace the idea of a ‘staged development application’ with a ‘concept development application’. The Bill is a swift response to a decision of the NSW Court of Appeal in Bay Simmer Investments Pty Ltd v State…

Launch of New Housing Code for NSW

On Monday 17 July 2017 new planning controls for obtaining complying development approval for new 1 or 2 storey dwelling houses, including alterations and additions, begins in NSW. These changes will take effect through a new and simplified Housing Code within State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (Codes SEPP) and are…

When ‘liabilities’ do not include all liabilities: A pollution prosecution ‘ended’ by a council amalgamation

The NSW Land and Environment Court has held that the Proclamation which merged Dubbo Council with Wellington Council, to become Dubbo Regional Council, ‘ended’ the prosecution proceedings that had been commenced by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) but not determined by the Court. The reason the prosecution ended was because the Proclamation did not have…

Balancing flexibility and fairness: a review of the policy framework for Voluntary Planning Agreements

The NSW Government has responded to growing concern that the development industry is ‘being held to ransom’ by some Councils when negotiating VPAs by releasing a revised Practice Note and draft Direction and circular regarding the use of Voluntary Planning Agreements (VPAs) under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act). On 4 November…

Just how just are the amendments proposed under the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Amendment Act 2016?

Improved transparency, certainty and fairness is the focus in the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Amendment Act 2016 (Amending Act), which has received assent from the Governor and will commence on a day or days to be appointed by proclamation. The Amending Act introduces changes to the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 (Act)…