Land and Environment Court of NSW

Class 1: Environmental planning and protection appeals

Proceedings in Class 1 involve merits review of administrative decisions of local or State government under various planning or environmental laws. 

Court decisions

The court, in hearing and disposing of the appeal, sits in the place of the original decision-maker and re-exercises the administrative decision-making functions. The decision of the court is final and binding and becomes that of the original decision-maker.

In development appeals, the court decides whether to grant development consent to a development application and, if so, the conditions of the consent.

Class 1 appeals are usually heard by a commissioner of the court.

Practice and procedure

The practice and procedure governing Class 1 appeals is described in Practice Notes:

Fast facts

In 2022, Class 1 appeals were 61% of the court's finalised caseload. 

69% of all Class 1 matters finalised were appeals under s 8.7 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 relating to development applications.

60% of the appeals under s 8.7 were applications where councils had not 
determined the development application within the statutory time period (deemed refusals).

Of the remaining Class 1 matters finalised in 2022:

  • 8% were applications to modify a development consent under s 8.9 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979
  • 14% were appeals against council orders and the actual or deemed refusal by councils to issue building certificates
  • 9% were other matters, including applications for costs of proceedings, appeals against commissioners' decisions and appeals against pollution prevention or remediation notices.

In 2022, 77% of Class 1 appeals were finalised by alternative dispute resolution processes and negotiated settlement, without the need for a court hearing.

In 2022, 89% of Class 1 appeals were finalised within 12 months of commencement and 51% were finalised within 6 months of commencement. The median time for completion for all Class 1 appeals is 179 days.

Development in New South Wales
Development in New South Wales
Class 1 appeals represent approximately 61% of the Court's finalised caseload
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