Home  |  News  |  There are no precedents

There are no precedents

I am sometimes told that a development, or a town planning decision, is a precedent for the approval of another development.

But it is not so.


Because every development is different. And every site is different. And planning instruments change, as well.

Each development application is assessed on its merits, not precedent, and there are scores of decisions of the Planning and Environment Court that state this.

For a developer or town planning consultant, it would be a mistake to say in support of an approval that the development approved next door, down the street, or across town, is a precedent for the approval of your development.  The argument is hollow, and reliance on it will tend to discredit your more substantive arguments.  You should only argue for an approval based on merit.

For Council town planners, it would be a mistake to refuse a development application on the basis that to do so would create a precedent for the approval of other development applications.  If there is merit in approving what is proposed, then approve it. And be prepared to fight the good fight against those who might subsequently claim the making of a precedent.

In planning and development, if you use the word ‘precedent’ – you fail.

I hope you have found this information helpful. Remember you can always contact us to discuss your specific needs, We’re here to help.

In other news

More news


I am very quick at solving my client’s problems.


I will quickly help you chart a course to achieve success and avoid trouble.


I will tell you what you need to know; not what you want to hear or what is good for my business.


I like a chat. If I can help you straight away on a phone call, I will, without charge.

Contact details

Andrew Davis Planning Lawyers services all areas of Queensland.

Brisbane Office
Level 27, Santos Place
32 Turbot Street
Brisbane QLD 4000

0417 330 433


…or email us.

    Send my message