The basics of Development Control Orders

What are Development Control Orders, and what possible consequences could they have on your development?

What is a Development Control Order?

In general terms, a Development Control Order is an order that requires a person to do something, stop doing something, or comply with an existing approval.

Examples of Development Contol Orders include:

  • Stop Work Orders to stop building work or subdivision work;
  • Compliance Orders to comply with a planning approval, carry out works associated with subdivision, or do whatever is necessary so that a building complies with relevant development standards
  • Stop Use Orders to stop using a premises or building, or to not conduct/stop conducting an activity on the premises;
  • Demolish Works Orders to demolish or remove a building;
  • Stop Demolition Orders to stop demolishing, or not demolish, a building; and
  • Fire Safety Orders to do or stop doing things on a premises for the purposes of fire safety or fire safety awareness.

Who can issue a Development Control Order?

Depending on the situation, a Development Control Order may be issued by:

  • A local council;
  • the Minister or the Planning Secretary;
  • a consent authority (not being the Independent Planning Commission, a Sydney district or regional planning panel, a council or an accredited certifier), but only in connection with a development for which the authority is or has been the consent authority;
  • for Fire Safety Orders – the Commissioner or a member of staff of Fire and Rescue NSW, or a member of a permanent fire brigade, as authorised by the Minister for Emergency Services; or
  • other public authorities as prescribed by regulations or authorised by the Minister for Planning.

Do I have to be given notice of a proposed Development Control Order?

In most situations, the relevant authority must provide you with notice of their intention to issue a Development Control Order.

Notice does not need to be given for:

  • Stop Work Orders;
  • some Fire Safety Orders;
  • orders given in an emergency; or
  • orders given by the Minister of Planning or the Planning Secretary in connection with State Significant Infrastructure.

If a notice is givem, you have a right to make representations to the relevant authority in regards to the proposed order. You can be represented by a legal practitioner for the purposes of doing so.

If a Development Control Order is issued, do I have to be provided with reasons?

Yes. Generally, the reasons will be provided when the Development Control Order is given, except in an emergency.

Can I appeal a Development Control Order?

Yes. A copy of the Development Control Order must be accompanied by a notice stating that you can appeal to the Land and Environment Court against the order, and the period of time within which your appeal can be made.

What happens if I don’t comply with a Development Control Order?

A person who contravenes or fails to comply with a Development Control Order may be found guilty of a criminal offence and liable to a penalty:

  • in the case of a corporation, a maximum penalty of $5 mllion and a further $50,000 for each dat the offence continues; or
  • in the case of an individual, a maximum penalty of $1 million and a further $10,000 for each day the offence continues.

For legal assistance in regards to a Development Control Order, contact Alyce Kliese by clicking here.

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Alyce is a civil engineer and a practicing lawyer, who has a desire to share her insights on the legal and practical realities of the development industry.