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Planning and Environment Matters

Bodies corporate can be caught up in all sorts of planning and environment matters.

These can include:

  • Show cause notices for breaches of planning approvals;
  • Objecting to surrounding developments through impact assessable change  of use applications;
  • Filing submitter appeals as a result of planning approvals; and
  • Disputes over development conditions generally, which can be from car parking conditions, storage lockers to easement maintenance, and a number of other issues.

It is critical that a body corporate makes sure that the right governance steps are taken in making decisions on any planning matter.  It does not matter whether it is taking positive action or defending a position.

As with any contentious matter, consideration of what is a restricted issue is a key preliminary issue. This will determine whether the committee can make decisions or whether the decision must be referred to owners in general meeting for approval.

As a simple example, characterising what is a restricted issue when objecting to a planning application is vital.  

Approval at the wrong level may lead to an immediate line of attack for the proposer of the application in that if the decision was not lawfully made, the body corporate may not have lawfully objected to the application in the first place. 

Any planning issue comes with its own spending limit issues as well.

We have both planning and environment expertise as well as the largest body corporate practice in Queensland.  We have previously acted for local governments enforcing planning approvals and issuing show cause notices so we know the ins and outs of planning matters as well.