Building Development Disputes (Land and Environment Court Appeals)


Court Appeals                                                                      


Draft design rejections                                                         

City centre residential development disputes                      

Special industry/trade licences

Compulsory government acquisitions


1. Draft Design Rejections


Potential Problem Regarding Building Codes

Draft designs for buildings pending construction must be submitted to the local council for approval to ensure that they adhere to the council's building code. A common feature of council building codes is the requirement that new buildings blend in with neighbouring buildings. This poses problems for applicants who wish to incorporate innovative architecture in their designs, as such designs are often rejected by the local council, despite applicants having made significant investments into them.

Available Solutions

If the application for development is rejected, the applicant must amend the draft design in accordance with the local council’s proposed changes. This results in a waste of both the applicant’s time and resources, and the result is hardly ever what they originally desired. Alternatively, the applicant may challenge the decision made by the local council by making an appeal to the Land and Environment Court.

AHL Legal has handled a large number of Land and Environment Court appeals over the years and has often been able to reach a pleasing outcome in our clients' favour.

Successful appeals almost always lead to an increase in the evaluated price of our client’s developments.


2. City Centre Residential Development Disputes

In the metropolitan area where land for development is limited, potential profits for developers are directly affected by the specific height and density requirements imposed on metropolitan building development projects.

AHL Legal has a strong record of helping our clients achieve satisfactory outcomes for their developments. We have previously successfully assisted a client in gaining council approval for developing a 14-storey building where the height limit in place was only 6-storeys.


3. Special Industry/Trade Licences

Council Requirements

A local council issued licence is requried for the operation of special trades in Australia, such as brothels.  AHL Legal has assisted our clients in applying and eventually gaining approval for the required licences which allows them to legally operate their businesses.


Available Solutions in Light of Rejection

AHL Legal has also assisted our clients in challenging legal actions brought upon by the local council claiming illegality of the operation of their businesses.

In many cases, we have also subsequently helped our clients gain official operational licences required for the legal operation of their business.


4. Compulsory Government Acquisition

Disproportionate Compensation for Government Acquired Land

The Commonwealth government has the authority to legally acquire land or an interest in land anywhere in Australia for the purpose of development of public infrastructure, such as public roads or community shopping centres. The compensation paid to land owners is often much lower than the market value.

AHL Legal has represented land owners in lodging appeals against the government, requesting compensation comparable to the actual commercial value. In one case, our client was eventually provided with compensation three times the original amount offered.

5. Chinese Nationals Purchasing Property in Australia

Our operations in Beijing and Shanghai have allowed us to amass experience in the legal needs of Chinese buyers of Australian property. We act on behalf of the purchaser, explaining Australian contracts in Chinese and advising them of potential problems. AHL Legal is the first point of call for clients requiring individually tailored services. We will facilitate a smooth transaction on your behalf, and ensure that potential legal problems do not eventuate.