What is an appeal?
An appeal, technically referred to as an “application for review” is conducted at the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT). The SAT is an independent jurisdiction that deals with a wide range of decision-making and decision reviews. Town planning applications fall within the ambit of the ‘Development & Resources’ stream.
Can I carry out the appeal myself?
Yes. The SAT allows for applicants or landowners to conduct their own appeals.
However, in many instances, matters can become quite complex and time consuming. If your review progresses to a full hearing, specific town planning expertise is often required in the preparation of documents and conducting the hearing. Expert evidence may be required at this stage from a qualified town planning. If you’re unfamiliar with the town planning system or the conduct of the SAT, you may be prejudiced in achieving the desired outcome.
Do I need a lawyer at the Tribunal?
There are two classes of planning matters at the SAT: Class 1 and Class 2. In Class 1 matters, the applicant can elect to negate the presence of lawyers in proceedings. In Class 2 matters, parties can still be (and commonly are) represented by experienced town planners, however there is no opportunity to negate other parties from using legal services.
In general, the services provided by an expert town planner are significantly more cost effective than those provided by lawyers. However, there are other instances where complex legal matters can arise and it is indeed desirable or imperative that legal representation is sought.
How much does an appeal cost?
Costs of appeals vary on the specific circumstances of each case. Altus Planning will provide you with a detailed quotation on the commencement of service that will thoroughly outline all involved costs.
The SAT also maintains fees for the conduct of a review which are outlined on the SAT website.
What are my chances of winning?
Approximately 75% of appeals are “sorted out” during the mediation phase. This occurs when one or both parties have either compromised or reconsidered their position. This is often the most cost effective way of pursuing an appeal.
However, as with all disputes, the specific circumstances of each case determine its likelihood of succeeding. Altus Planning prides itself on providing frank and honest advice to clients as to the merits of their case.
If I win my appeal, can I recover costs?
No. The SAT is generally a “no costs” jurisdiction.
Further information can be found at section 87(1) of the State Administrative Tribunal Act 2004 whereby;
“Unless otherwise specified in this Act, the enabling Act, or an order of the Tribunal under this section, parties bear their own costs in a proceeding of the Tribunal”
Can I appeal to the Minister for approval?
No. Appeals to the Minster for Planning ceased in 2002. The SAT has now replaced the former Town Planning Appeals Tribunal and the Ministerial appeals process.
More information can be found on the SAT website.