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Appellate: Altering a Property's Categorisation

Appellate: Altering a Property's Categorisation

The Court of Appeal recently heard an appeal from the Land and Environment Court where a property developer managed to successfully alter the ‘categorisation’, for rating purposes, of various developments in Sydney from 'business' to 'residential'. The main issues in the Land and Environment Court were: 

  1. Proper construction of the phrase 'dominant use for residential accomodation' in section 516(1)(a) of the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) ('the LGA'). 
  2. Correctness of the Courts decision in Meriton Apartments Pty Ltd v Parramatta City Council [2003] NSWLEC 309 ('the Parramatta case'). 
  3. Whether the applicant's activities on the land, including demolition of an existing building, excavation of the land, construction of a new mixed-use building residential apartments, answer the statutory descriptions in section 516 of the LGA. 

Sheahan J in the Land and Environment Court accepted the construction of the phrase 'dominant use for residential accomodation' from the Parramatta case, being, the physical purpose for which the land is used rather than another purpose of the owner/occupier in using the land. 

As such, it was found that activities implementing a development consent, which will ultimately lead to a residential development of a type not exclude by section 516 of the LGA, dictate that the land be categorised for rating purposes as 'for residential accomodation'. 

Now we sit tight and wait for the Court of Appeal's decision with respect to at least these three issues!!!

If you need a hand with anything discussed, plead do not hesitate to contact me by:

Email: ptiliakos@wentworthchambers.com.au 

Phone: (02) 9232 4466

Website: www.thebarristersydney.com.au

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