The government is currently in the process of making significant changes to planning laws, particularly in the context of third-party appeals. These changes are designed to have a profound impact on when construction can commence following the issuance of a planning permit. The idea is that when a third party lodges an appeal against a planning permit, construction work cannot begin until the appeal process is resolved.

Today, no one wonders why this change is necessary. When a third party launches an appeal against a planning permit, one potential outcome is the revocation of that permit. If construction has already started or, worse, made significant progress, it can lead to a complicated and costly situation where constructed elements have to be removed. This not only creates a logistical nightmare but also incurs substantial financial and time costs.

To avoid these issues and promote a smoother, more predictable process, it makes sense to delay construction until all appeals have been resolved. This ensures that once a planning permit is issued, everyone can proceed with confidence, knowing that it cannot be suddenly taken away.

After thorough consideration of these critical issues, Parliament may choose to consider any of the changes I am proposing when fine-tuning the final amendments to the existing Environmental and Planning Review Tribunal Act. The report entitled ‘The new reality with  automatic permit suspensions pending third party appeals’ containing my recommendations can be accessed via the following link.