There is some complexity to planning law and local government law. Getting it right the first time will save you. If you are considering a development, consult both Coutts and your specialist advisers before you lodge an application or appeal. Coutts can advise on:

  • Multiple occupancies and multi occupancy subdivisions
  • Objection to prescribed development standards (such as set-back requirements, height restrictions and minimum area requirements)
  • Subdivisions and consolidations
  • Re-zoning applications
  • Development applications
  • Third party objections
  • Strata title subdivisions
  • Community title subdivisions
  • Drafting public positive covenants as may be required by council
  • Development agreements
  • Council conditions
  • Appeals
  • Conditions of consent
  • Staged development
  • Existing use
  • Modification applications
  • Local Government appeals and litigations including:
    • All manner of appeals
    • Freedom of Information requests
  • Applications for declarations, injunctions or compensation for failure or delay

The protection of the environment is a major community concern. Legislation designed to achieve this aim is complex, because it must balance the interests of numerous parties. A failure to comply with the legislation can lead to penalties of $1,100,000 for corporations or $250,000 and seven years jail for individuals.

Increasingly, directors are made liable for acts of their corporations, and sometimes financiers and lenders can also be at risk by being forced to pay for site remediation work on mortgaged property, especially ‘orphaned sites’.

We have two of the very few Law Society Accredited Specialists in Local Government and Planning Law in the state. Our experience in environmental law equips us to advise directors and companies about their liabilities under the relevant environmental laws. Specifically, we assist in the legal audit of a company’s environments risks (which involves liaison with other relevant experts), advise present occupiers of sites of their rights and liabilities when they are served with clean-up notices (under legislation such as the Environmental Hazardous Chemical Act and the Protection of the Environment Operations Act), or give preliminary advice to prosecutors and defendants prior to charges being laid.

If legal action is taken, Coutts represents defendants charged with breaches of an environmental protection law, advises clients on their rights of appeal and conduct such appeals against decisions of authorities to renew or grant licences.

Coutts have extensive experience in assisting councils and private clients in relation to the acquisition of land. Coutts have recently acted on behalf a number of private clients who have had land acquired by ARTC all of those acquisitions have resulted in large amounts of money in compensation.