Practice and Procedure

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.

Judicial Review - Commencing appeal following expiry of appeal period - Applicable principles

Wingecarribee Shire Council v Uri Turgeman [2018] NSWLEC 146.

In this case, the NSW Land and Environment Court upheld an application by the applicant Council to extend the normal 3 month appeal period for commencing judicial review proceedings imposed under Rule 59.10(1) of the UCPR.

In so doing, the Court exercised the discretion to extend the appeal period conferred on it by Rule 59.10(2). This case provides a useful summary of the key principles that will be considered by a Court when determining how to exercise this discretion.

In so doing, the Court has provided a useful overview of the approach it will take to analysing each of the following 4 preconditions prescribed under s 88K which must be satisfied before an easement will be granted:

"Amber Light" decisions in Class 1 Planning Appeals

 Ku-ring-gai Council v Bunnings Properties Pty Ltd (No 2) [2018] NSWLEC 19.

In this case the Court determined an appeal from a decision by a Commissioner to uphold a Class 1 appeal and to grant consent for development at Pymble including, inter alia, the demolition of existing buildings and the construction of a new building for the purposes of hardware and building supplies.

In considering this issue, the Court sets out a useful overview of the scope of the "Amber Light Approach" and the circumstances in which it may be applied in Class 1 Planning Appeals.

Class 1 proceedings - Costs appeal - Where appeal upheld but consent not granted

David Casson t/as Casson Planning & Development Services v Upper Hunter Shire Council (No 2) [2017] NSWLEC 149.

In this case the NSW Land and Environment Court considered how the usual rule applicable in appeals brought under Section 56A of the Land and Environment Court Act 1979, that "costs follow the event", should be applied where the appeal is upheld but the applicant does not achieve any practical or functional success.

Recusal application - Apprehension of bias - Applicable principles

Alexandria Landfill Pty Ltd and Boiling Pty Ltd v Roads and Maritime Services [2017] NSWLEC 148

A reminder of the general approach that will be applied by a Court when determining an application for recusal with some specific observations as to how the relevant principles will be applied by the Land and Environment Court in Class 3 Compensation Appeals.

Moorebank Intermodal Terminal - Objector appeal - Standing of objector to bring appeal

Residents Against Intermodal Development Moorebank Incorporated v Minister for Planning [2017] NSWLEC 115

The NSW Land and Environment Court has dismissed a challenge by a project proponent (Qube,) who is the Second Respondent in the proceedings, to the standing of the Applicant to bring the proceedings.

The proceedings involve an "objector appeal" brought in relation to an SSD consent granted for the Moorebank Intermodal Precinct East – Stage 1 project.

The Applicant/Objector, Residents Against Intermodal Development Moorebank Inc (RAIDM Inc), is an incorporated body. However, at the time it made its objection to the development, it was an unincorporated association known as Residents Against Intermodal Development Moorebank (RAID Moorebank).

In reaching its decision, the Court considered the scope of persons permitted to bring an objection to development under Section 79(5) and 98(1) of the EP&A Act and the effect of Clause 2(1)(b) of Schedule 2 of the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (which provides that, upon the incorporation of an unincorporated association, its rights and liabilities vest in the incorporated body).