Planning Law

We act for property developers of a range of commercial, residential and industrial developments in both rural and urban locations. Our clients include corporate and individual developers, financiers, investors and superannuation funds. In addition we have demonstrated experience acting for both metropolitan and regional Councils in advisory work and representation in litigious and transactional matters.

Our planning practice offers legal advice and representation at all stages of the lifecycle of a development. It extends to the provision of advice on the operation of regulatory regimes governing the use and development of land including:

  • planning,
  • environment,
  • heritage,
  • native title,
  • subdivision,
  • land access and compulsory acquisition

Policy and legislative developments in planning law and associated legal areas are regularly changing the shape of authorised development in Victoria.

It is essential to be up to date with case law relevant to a client’s industry, any legislative developments and government reviews. We advise our clients on the current status of the law and legal processes and any impending changes in order to:

  • assist with a client’s decision to acquire an existing development or to proceed with a proposed development; and
  • ensure a development’s continuing compliance with legal obligations under planning and associated legislation, conditions on planning permits and the terms of any land use agreement.

We want to understand our client’s business and goals and to meet their objectives in a timely and cost effective manner. We seek to provide our clients with practical, commercial and strategic advice as well as technically correct advice in the context of the complex suite of planning and associated legislation and permit processes.

Our property and planning lawyers work together on development projects to provide legal due diligence, ensure the seamless and timely authorisation and establishment of our client’s developments, conduct the effective appeal of any decision of an approving authority and to advise on continuing compliance.

Our Service Offering

  • Due diligence regarding proposed or existing developments (such as medical and veterinary facilities, low and high rise residential and mixed use developments, industrial developments, service stations)
  • Assisting clients in the permit application process including liaising with Councils and statutory authorities
  • Representing clients (developers, objectors, Councils, referral authorities) in applications to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), the Heritage Council and to the Supreme Court, Victoria (permit applicant reviews, objector appeals, applications seeking a declaration)
  • Drafting, reviewing and negotiating land use agreements under section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act (Vic) 1987 (P & E Act) on behalf of developers and Councils
  • Regulatory compliance 
  • Statutory interpretation (particularly planning scheme controls)
  • Interpretation of restrictive covenants
  • Advice on issues arising under the P&E Act and relevant planning schemes, for example existing use rights, public open space provision, potentially contaminated land, developer and infrastructure contributions
  • Amending planning permits, planning schemes and restrictive covenants
  • Land access under specific legislative regimes
  • Heritage issues arising under both local planning schemes and state legislation
  • Aboriginal cultural heritage
  • Compulsory land acquisition

Planning Team

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