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Never believe in 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.

Why?

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.

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Andrew Davis Planning Lawyers services all areas of Queensland.

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Level 22, 69 Ann Street
BRISBANE QLD 4000

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