Last week, 2 significant amendments were recently introduced in relation to the lapsing of consents – work and extension of time. The Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (EPA Reg) was amended to prevent preliminary works from stopping a consent from lapsing. This means that the work outlined in the new clause 124AA will not be sufficient to constitute a ‘physical commencement’. In addition, s4.52 of the EPA Act was amended to include that if a development consent had commenced before 25 March 2020, and has not yet lapsed, it will now lapse 2 years following the date on which it would have otherwise lapsed. This extension also applies to development consents the subject of a deferred commencement condition. Further, if a consent lapsed after 25 March 2020, and before the commencement of the amendment on 14 May 2020, it will be revived and not taken to have lapsed, with the beneficiary having another two years to commence development.

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