Disputing a Decision in the Planning and Environment Court

planning and environment court appeals

If you’re involved in land planning and development then you’re probably familiar with the Planning and Environment Court of Queensland.

A district civil court, this body of judges is responsible for adjudicating on a range of decisions in the fields of environmental protection, planning and development, nature conservation and more.

The Planning and Environment Court is an essential body for ensuring that the work we do meets proper standards. It’s essential to work with – not against – our legal system to reach the best outcomes for all parties.

If you disagree with a planning and development decision, you may be able to successfully dispute and appeal this decisions in court. Here is our general guide to lodging those appeals, and some other information you may wish to know.

The Notice of Appeal

A Notice of Appeal is a formal application and acknowledgement that you are filing a dispute. Your Notice of Appeal outlines the grounds for your appeal as well as who the appellant and the respondent are.

This document will need to be lodged with the registry office and it must also be served to the relevant respondent(s) too. Time limits and some fees will apply.

Directions Orders and Hearings

As the developer you are most likely also the party with the onus of proof, or the person who must provide proof. In order to do this you will have to file a directions order within three (3) months of filing your Notice of Appeal. This will allow for a directions hearing to be scheduled.

At the hearing the court will explain the steps that must be taken between the two parties. This will usually involve a dispute resolution plan.

Other Hearings

Your case may then be subject to a range of other hearings, including review hearings where the court will re-examine and evaluate any previous instructions that both parties have been given.

Your final hearing is where the result of the case will be decided and your appeal with either be successful or unsuccessful.

Other Things to Consider

Can I Represent Myself?

You do not need legal representation in the Planning and Environment Court and can choose to present yourself. however ADC planners highly recommend the appointment of expert and experienced Planning and Environment Court lawyers plus experts in the relevant field such as engineers, planners, architects and surveyors.

What Will the Process Cost Me?

Fees and charges are understandably an important consideration. Some of the fees you will need to consider include:

  • Lawyers’ fees and charges
  • Expert witness fees and charges
  • Court fees for filing your Notice of Appeal and other related charges

Should I Consider Expert Witnesses

The testimony of an experienced, expert and independent witness may positively contribute to your appeal. While you may be across many different details of your circumstances and your appeal, an expert witness can bring fresh eyes and new avenues to your appeal.

If you’d like to learn more about expert witnesses or the Planning and Environment Court appeals process, contact the experts at Arnold Development Consultants. We can assist you with preparing and lodging your case with the courts, and act as witnesses in a range of key areas – from town planning to property titling, land use and surveying.