Date of text
Sabin Center
Reference number
[ 2009 ] NCWELC 17 (Australia)
Climate Change

An Australian court upheld approval of a development application by a city council for a dwelling on a beachfront property. Applicant land owner argued, inter alia, that the Council had failed to take into account the principles of ecologically sustainable development (ESD), specifically the principles of intergenerational equity and the precautionary principles by failing to assess climate change induced coastal erosion. The Council was in the process of conducting a coastal impact study, but made its decision prior to the completion of the study. The court concluded that the Council had a mandatory obligation under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 to take into consideration the public interest, which included the principles of ESD, but in the present case, the defendant had considered the issue of coastal erosion.

Key environmental legal questions

Challenge to city council decision granting development on beachfront property