Planning law

Kellehers Australia is a leader in planning law. Our legal services include strategic management of all elements of development applications for all stakeholders.

With decades of experience with applications, Council assessment, objection and review appeals, we frequently co-ordinate highly skilled expert teams and manage development projects both major and small-scale. VCAT and superior court litigation are our bedrock. Our planning skills link with environment, roads, subdivision and heritage as well as company, taxation and property law services.

We act in all stages of planning matters, from conception to end development and achieve innovative solutions where issues have become immovable or problematic.

Achievements in Planning Law include:

  • Unique and highly successful project management of major development projects – particularly with complex planning controls and intricate site and land features. Consultant team co-ordination and liaison, including with design architect, surveyors, planners (urban, social, recreational, landscape and other), engineers (traffic, civil, soil and drainage) as well as accounting, taxation and financial experts.
  • Advising on strategies relating to ‘agent of change’ land use clashes, including complex negotiations.
  • Innovative and lateral strategies for landowners faced with a planning “problem” that maximises the value and development potential of the land.
  • Successful non-litigious advocacy and negotiation at Ministerial, politician, senior state and local government levels, including councillors and officers, to achieve major client financial benefits – including highly favorable adjustment of the planning elements of public open space controls, planning overlays and wind farm infrastructure agreements.
  • Assessing complex existing use rights scenarios and delivering strategic legal advice to optimise commercial operations.
  • Highly successful negotiations regarding commercial existing land use rights, including meticulous review of historic planning approvals, plans and assessment of legal rights arising from these.
  • Large project reviewing Victoria Planning Provisions as to climate change regulation and associated caselaw.
  • Infrastructure overview for large and small development projects.
  • Road law, including rights-of-way, traffic and access issues.
  • Negotiated planning development applications for retail and commercial areas as well as private landholdings and farming properties, including comprehensive analysis of existing and long-term easement rights, legal title abuttals, rights over Crown land, watercourses and water rights.
  • Planning and development of former landfill and adjoining land.
  • Successful resolution of drainage and water law matters.
  • Highly successful solutions to sensitive and complex landscape settings including National Trust and Heritage Victoria registered landscapes.
  • High value claims under Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 (Vic) and associated planning and development strategies.
  • Effective S173 agreements both complex, bespoke, and routine, securing long-term land arrangements – and removal of s173 agreements.
  • Adverse possession of land impacted by a s173 agreement.
  • Legal advice in bushfire affected areas.
  • Successful advocacy of win-win solutions for native vegetation protection to ensure net environmental gain.
  • A long and successful pattern of VCAT, Planning Panels and Supreme Court planning litigation and, more recently, the Priority Projects Standing Advisory Committee.
  • Building design and amenity strategy to address privacy, overlooking, bulk, setback and landscaping to ensure optimum outcome.
  • Related building permit and demolition applications and associated litigation.
  • Effective negotiation of owner rights concerning alleged breaches of planning controls and enforcement action. Assisting adjoining land owners to ensure that planning schemes and existing planning permits are adhered to and enforced, including court and VCAT applications to compel compliance and associated negotiations.