Norman Waterhouse – Protector of the Realm

While we encourage our council clients to avoid litigation wherever possible, sometimes it is necessary to “stand and defend”.  

So it was in two recent Environment Resources and Development Court cases in which council decisions came under procedural attack.           

In Alexander v City of Marion [2016] SAERDC 29, we were successful in defending the Council’s characterisation of a proposed dwelling which takes access from a private internal road as a “group dwelling”. This decision confirms the position that an internal road which functions much like a public road is not part of the “curtilage” of a proposed dwelling.

In Mundy v City of West Torrens [2016] SAERDC 30, the Council had refused to grant development approval on the basis that a private certifier’s decision to grant development plan consent was invalid. In the first decision of its kind, we were successful in having the ERD Court confirm the correctness of the Council’s approach and declaring the certifier’s decision invalid. This decision vindicates the view that councils are entitled to scrutinise decisions of private certifiers to ensure they are legally valid.

Follow the links below to read more about the two decisions.

The decisions create important precedents which are of relevance to all of our council clients.

While it is always a privilege to advise and represent our council clients, it is particularly satisfying when our clients’ decisions are confirmed and upheld.

Gavin Leydon, Peter Psaltis, Joanna Clare and Aden Miegel.