SAT Affected: Councils

Another string to the bow of “development at any cost” is the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT).

Developers can appeal any decision made by a council or a Development Assessment Panel to the SAT.

The results are overwhelmingly in favour of the developer:

Nearly 70% of all SAT appeals are won by the developer!
Nearly 70% of all SAT appeals are won by the developer!

This graph captures information from one metropolitan council defending its decisions.

From 2012 to 2015:

  • Spent just over $193,000;
  • On 49 appeals to the SAT relating to refusals for planning approval (a review regarding conditions of approval are not included in this number, however there are very few of these) of which:
    o  8 were refused by Council where the officer recommendation for approval, and the refusal was later overturned by SAT
    o  26 were refused by Council in line with an officer recommendation for refusal, and the refusal was later overturned by SAT;
    o  15 refusals by Council with officer recommendations also for refusal were upheld as refused by SAT.

The SAT is part of the problem why “development at any cost” is occurring throughout communities in Western Australia.

What chance have residents got if they had Third Party Appeal Rights?

DAP Affected: Applecross

The residents from DAP Affected Applecross have to let you all know that yesterday (18 January 2016) the SAT announced the decision in favour of McDonalds to put a huge double storey 24 hour fast food outlet on our street despite the fact the new City of Melville LPS 6 is imminent  and would not allow this development at this site.

The State Solicitor’s Office “SSO” was under resourced in defending the JDAP. So despite a 5 member panel voting unanimously to reject the proposal – THE DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION has now been approved. There was evidence not presented by the SSO at the hearing, and as you will see below the SSO failed to argue 4 of the 6 points for the JDAPS reason for rejection. Its seems that the JDAP cannot even defend itself even when they strongly oppose a development. This makes even a further mockery of our planning system and laws.

This is devastating for the residents of Reynolds Road and particularly the residents whose homes back onto the site, with their bedroom windows right outside the drive through.

Residents are still getting their heads around all of this as some will be heavily impacted but as group we are calling on the Premier to either “Back the DAP” and defend his flawed planning system, or “Scrap the DAP” because clearly even such a strong rejection by a panel can’t stop inappropriate developments.

The State Solicitor did not argue that the development would be inconsistent with the:

    1. State Planning Policy 4.2
    2. Statement of Intent for the Reynolds Road Precinct under the current City of Melville Community Planning Scheme No 5 (CPS5)
    3. CPS5 in terms of the proposed acoustic walls
    4. Objectives of the Neighbourhood Centre as outlined in draft LPS6

The Manager of Statutory Planning at the City of Melville changed his opinion that the proposed development would seriously conflict with the objectives of the Scheme  and its intent to “it would be difficult to resist approving the proposed development under the existing scheme“.

It is disappointing to note that Judge Parry stated “Had Mr Prendergast’s evidence remained as it was originally foreshadowed in his witness statement and had the respondent’s case remained as it was originally formulated, the Tribunal’s determination as the correct and preferable decision in this proceeding “may well have been different“.

What the above tells us is that our original concerns about the State Solicitor being under resourced were well founded.

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