The applicant sought declarations and orders under s 11 of the Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 in respect of decisions giving rise to the respondent’s Decision Notice approving an amendment to an Area Development Plan. The applicant challenged the lawfulness of the respondent’s decisions to approve the amendment application and, moreover, to approve it as a minor change to an existing development permit on the basis that the respondent had no power to make such decisions because it did not follow an impact assessment process. Justice Everson was therefore tasked with determining whether the respondent was authorised to approve the application in circumstances where an impact assessment process was allegedly warranted but not undertaken, and whether the Decision Notice was ultimately invalid.
Justice Everson dismissed the application on the basis that the applicant had not discharged the onus of demonstrating the unlawfulness it alleged. His Honour was not persuaded that the respondent had no power to approve the application because it did not follow the impact assessment process, and found that additional arguments as to the invalidity of the Decision Notice lacked merit.
John Ware (with Daniel Gore QC) appeared, instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills, for the applicant.
The judgement is available here.