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Development Consent Declined? What You Need to Know About a ‘Merit Appeal’ in the NSW Land and Environment Court

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Have you had a development application to a local council refused or had unacceptable conditions imposed on the approval?  If so, an appeal against the decision may be possible to the NSW Land and Environment Court

What happens in a merit appeal?

In a ‘merit appeal’ (or Class 1 application), the Court effectively steps into the shoes of the original decision maker, becoming the consent authority. It assesses the application, as new, on its merits. This will include the probable impacts of the development and the site's suitability for what is proposed. It will then determine whether the development application should be approved, conditionally approved, or refused.

Merit appeals are usually heard by a Commissioner of the Court but may be assisted by a Judge in more complex cases. Each party usually bears its own costs.

A merit appeal is different to a judicial review of a decision. The latter is concerned with the legal validity of a decision made by a Council.

Time limits for a merit appeal apply, so obtaining early advice is advisable.

Contact our Land and Environment Court Lawyers in Sydney, NSW

Szabo & Associates Solicitors are experienced practitioners who can assist with all aspects of planning and environment law.  We can assist you in weighing your options before filing a merit appeal. If required, we can represent clients in the NSW Land and Environment Court in merit reviews and other proceedings. Please call us on 02 9281 5088 or fill in the online contact form.

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