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Land Use and Developments


Getting Development Consent


When a person wishes to start building  a structure on their land, they are required to get consent from their local council before any work in commenced. In some cases, where the structure is quite small, consent may not be required. Adjoining owners are also allowed to provide input and raise any objections that they may have.

Grounds for objections include:

  • the potential for any type of pollution, including noise and air pollution
  • the potential for traffic and parking issues to arise
  • when the structure is out of character with the surrounding area, too tall or likely to obstruct sunlight or view
  • too close to a boundary


Local councils must take into consideration factors set out in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, including:


  • provisions of planning instruments
  • likely environmental, social and economic impacts
  • any submissions made about the development
  • public interest 




If an individual wishes to raise objections to a development of change in land use, they must adhere to this process, keeping in mind that each step of the process becomes more

  • Talk to the neighbour directly: try to come to a compromise. 
  • Contact the local council: councils are required to take into consideration the objections of adjoining owners. 
  • Make a submission to the local council: in the form of a written letter that outlines key objections. 
  • Write to the local member of parliament: may be worthwhile as local members can represent the interests of residents. 
  • Take legal action: generally speaking, a neighbour does not have the right to appeal to the Land and Environment Court, however, there may be a right of action challenging the approval on administrative or procedural grounds. 
  • Approach the court: when land is being used without approval and the local council fails to adequately respond, neighbours can approach the Land and Environment court to obtain and injunction.

Conditions of Consent


When consent is given by the council to carry out building or construction works, or to use land for a specific purpose, the council expects that certain conditions will be adhered to.

These conditions can relate to:

  • how the land is being used
  • how the building is being constructed
  • hours of operation
  • drainage, noise and landscaping


Action can be taken by residents if they feel that conditions of consent are not being observed.

If you need more information or assistance with dealing with inappropriate land use and development, complete and submit the Express Enquiry form on the top right hand side of this page and we will contact you to discuss your enquiry or call us on 1300 QUINNS (1300 784 667) or on +61 2 9223 9166 to arrange an appointment.