A recent decision by the NSW Court of Appeal has discussed the circumstances in which development consent will lapse where a developer does not commence work relating to the site within five years of the date consent is given. In Cando Management and Maintenance Pty ltd v Cumberland Council [2019] NSWCA 26, the Court was asked to determine whether various construction work on the site ‘related to the subject of the consent.’ Previous demolition work that breached conditions of the development consent had been undertaken on the site, as well as the clearing of some shrubs and trees, which at first instance was deemed not to be in accordance with the consent. However, on appeal, the Court held that the independent action of clearing of shrubs from the site was not in breach of the development consent, and therefore qualified as work ‘relating to’ the subject of the development consent. Therefore because of this work, the development consent had not lapsed on the property in question.

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