Town Planning / Local Govt.
All manner of town planning issues both legal and otherwise associated with are within Brian’s capability to advise clients. This includes in the assistance and preparation of DAs, Statement of Environmental Effects, advising on exempt and complying development, modification applications for DAs, reviews of decisions on DAs made by council and advising on proposed Planning Proposals. He also advises and appears in court on Class 1 merit appeals where council has either refused a DA or placed onerous conditions.
Recently, Brian was successful in submissions made on behalf of a client, to the Sutherland Council, to amend its LEP 2015, to permit dual occupancies, lawfully approved in 2008, to permit strata subdivision of the dual occupancies.
Neighbour disputes relating to trees, dividing fences and noise are other matters which Brian has assisted clients. He has appeared in the Land & Environment Court on tree disputes and before Tribunals on fencing matters.
Disputes about council rates is another area Brian has advise clients.
Apart from appearing in various courts Brian has also appeared before the former IHAPs, at various councils, Planning Panels and other related entities on behalf of clients.
As the words indicate, the force of the law is to protect the environment.
This protection addresses pollution in all its forms: air, noise and land-based pollution. The legislation is directed toward individuals, businesses and government.
The Environment Protection Authority, local government and government authorities are the usual bodies that enforce the law.
A majority of the cases before the Land and Environment Court involve pollutants escaping from industrial enterprises, farms and the like onto the land and/or finding its way into watercourses thereby polluting the environment at large. Large scale land clearance and its adverse effects have also been the subject of court proceedings. Air and noise pollution though quite evident in the environment have not been the subject of significant prosecution.
Directors of corporate entities can be found guilty of environmental offences if they have ‘knowingly’ condoned in the commission of an environmental offence.
Increasingly, the level of fines in the Land and Environment Court have risen over the years thereby signalling to the community at large the court is sending a clear message that environmental pollution will not be dealt with a simple slap on the wrist. In addition to significant fines the guilty party is burdened by a costs order.
An environmental offence is one of strict liability. In other words, the prosecutor does not have to prove the defendant’s men’s rea ( guilty mind) at the time of the offending act.
To be convicted of an environmental offence is a criminal conviction.
To make an appointment to discuss your query further, contact Brian Phillips Law.