In The Motel Group Pty Ltd v Strathfield Council [2017] NSWLEC 1227, a developer sought to build three medium-density apartment buildings in a low-density residential area. The local community protested strongly against the development, signed a petition and wrote letters opposing construction to the Council.

Although the development was non-compliant with height restrictions, the Court was asked to apply development standards flexibly and allow construction to begin. After considering the many objections raised by community members, the Court found that such objections were insufficient to bar the development.

In coming to this conclusion, the Court was aided by the fact that the developer considered the concerns of the objectors and offered suitable solutions by amending the plans. When this was taken into account, the public interest in increasing affordable housing out-weighed the objections of the local community.

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