EP&A Act

Political Donations: an important reminder about disclosure obligations when making planning applications or public submissions

There have been several recent decisions in the Land and Environment Court in which companies have been convicted for failing to disclose political donations and gifts when making relevant planning applications.

This article provides a brief overview of the key issues which need to be considered when determining whether particular political donations need to be disclosed.

EP&A Act - Substantial Amendments

On 1 March 2018, the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 was substantially amended in what has been described by the NSW Government as the "biggest overhaul to the Act in 40 years".

Along with numerous substantive changes, the Act has also been completely renumbered.

To support these changes, the NSW Department of Planning & Environment has produced two essential resources which should be reviewed by anyone wishing to understand the scope and import of the amendments to the Act:

  1. a Guide to the updated Act which highlights the key changes made to each Part of the Act; and
  2. a Sections Guide which lists frequently used sections of the pre-amendment Act alongside their new section numbers in the amended Act.

For further information on these amendments and thepotential implications for your development please contact Marcus Steele, Director, on (02) 8005-1411 or marcus.steele@steelelaw.com.au.



SEPP 55 - Application to Planning Proposals & Gateway Determinations

Moorebank Recyclers Pty Ltd v Tanlane Pty Ltd (No 2)  [2017] NSWLEC 186.

In this case, the NSW Land and Environment Court considered the application of Clause 6 of State Environmental Planning Policy No 55 - Remediation of Land (SEPP 55):

  1. to the preparation of a Planning Proposal; and
  2. to the making of a Gateway determination.

The Court found that the Clause 6 of SEPP 55 was not engaged (and so did not need to be complied with) in the making of either decision under challenge.

Is a private road a "building"?

Louisiana Properties Pty Ltd v Hakea Holdings Pty Ltd; Hakea Holdings Pty Ltd v Louisiana Properties Pty Ltd (No 2) [2017] NSWLEC 147.

In this case, the NSW Land and Environment Court considered whether a private road constitutes a "building" for the purposes of the EP&A Act the construction of which requires authorisation under a construction certificate.

Applying the 3 characteristics of "structures" identified by Preston CJ in Royal Motor Yacht Club (Broken Bay) Pty Ltd v Northern Beaches Council [2017] NSWLEC 56, the Court found that the road did constitute a "structure" (and therefore a "building").

Modification of Part 3A Concept Approval to exclude land - Excluded landowner's consent not required

Platform Project Services Pty Ltd v Minister for Planning [2017] NSWLEC 102    

The NSW Land and Environment Court has confirmed that, where it is proposed to modify a Part 3A project approval to exclude land, it is not necessary to obtain consent from the owner of the excluded land.