Land and Environment Court > Types of cases > Class 1: environmental planning and protection appeals

Class 1: environmental planning and protection appeals


Proceedings in Class 1 involve merits review of administrative decisions of local or State government under various planning or environmental laws. These proceedings include:


The court, in hearing and disposing of the appeal, sits in the place of the original decision-maker and re-exercises the administrative decision-making functions. The decision of the court is final and binding and becomes that of the original decision-maker.

In development appeals, the court decides whether to grant development consent to a development application and, if so, the conditions of the consent.

Class 1 appeals are usually heard by a commissioner of the court.

The practice and procedure governing Class 1 appeals is described in Practice Notes:


Fast facts                

In 2019, Class 1 appeals were 68% of the court's finalised caseload.

69% of all Class 1 matters finalised were appeals under s 8.7 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 relating to development applications.

61% of the appeals under s 8.7 were applications where councils had not 
determined the development application within the statutory time period (deemed refusals).

Of the remaining Class 1 matters finalised in 2019:

  • 12% were applications to modify a development consent under s 9.8 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act
  • 9% were appeals against council orders and the actual or deemed refusal
    by councils to issue building certificates
  • 10% were other matters, including applications for costs of proceedings, appeals against commissioners' decisions and appeals against pollution prevention or remediation notices.

In 2019, 74% of Class 1 appeals were finalised by alternative dispute resolution processes and negotiated settlement, without the need for a court hearing.

In 2019, 77% of Class 1 appeals were finalised within 12 months of commencement and 25% were finalised within 6 months of commencement. The median time for completion for all Class 1 appeals is 254 days.