In a recent case, the Land and Environment Court considered an appeal concerning a development application for the construction of a childcare facility in Forestville, Australia. The court’s final orders, resulting from an agreement reached at a conciliation conference, upheld the appeal and granted development consent for the project.

The applicant had lodged the development application with the Northern Beaches Council, seeking permission for demolition works and the construction of a centre-based childcare facility for up to 146 children. After the application was Rejected due to the review period expiring, the applicant appealed under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Under the Land and Environment Court Act 1979, a conciliation conference was arranged between the parties involved. The conference, presided over by a Commissioner, took place on May 3, 2019. During the conference, the parties reached an agreement on the terms of a decision acceptable to both sides. The decision they agreed upon involved granting development consent, subject to specific conditions, as outlined in section 4.16(1) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.

The presiding Commissioner reviewed the case and was satisfied that the decision to grant development consent, with the prescribed conditions, was within the Court’s jurisdiction and complied with its functions. The Commissioner’s satisfaction was based on meeting pre-jurisdictional requirements, including:

Permissible Use: The proposed childcare facility was compliant with the nominated permissible use in the R2 Low Density Residential zone, as per the Warringah Local Environmental Plan 2011.

Land Contamination: Clause 7 of the State Environmental Planning Policy No 55—Remediation of Land required consideration of potential contamination and remediation. The documentation provided with the application indicated that the site was not contaminated.

Infrastructure Considerations: In compliance with cl 101(2) of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007, the development was assessed based on factors such as traffic impact, parking, acoustic assessment, air quality, and potential adverse effects on road safety and efficiency. The reports submitted demonstrated that these factors were addressed adequately.

Court Orders: In accordance with the agreement between the parties, the Commissioner uphead the appeal. Development Consent was granted for the demolition works and construction of the centre-based childcare facility, with a maximum capacity of 146 children.
The conditions of consent, as specified in Annexure A, were to be imposed on the development.

This case exemplifies a successful appeal where the Land and Environment Court granted development consent for a childcare facility, subject to specific conditions. Through a conciliation conference and agreement between the parties involved, a decision was reached that satisfied the pre-jurisdictional requirements. The Commissioner’s orders highlight the court’s commitment to fair and effective decision-making processes in land and environment matters.

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