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This course introduces students to the legal framework regulating development and planning in NSW, exploring its ambitious and at times conflicting aims of economic development, environmental sustainability and social justice. We will consider the legislation and its evolution, examining recent reforms in the context of national and international trends in planning law and practice. Students will be encouraged to draw on their personal experience in Sydney and other cities around the world.

This course will prepare students for practice in environmental, property or real estate law, where a sound understanding of the planning framework is essential. It is also recommended for students interested in public policy: planning is a highly political process, particularly in Sydney where it regularly gives rise to fierce disputes in the media and the courts.

Main topics

  • Aims and origins of planning law
  • Assessment and approval of development in NSW, including major projects
  • The relationship between planning and property law
  • Theory and practice of public participation
  • Ecologically sustainable development, climate change and planning
  • Housing affordability, equity and social justice
  • Planning appeals and the NSW Land and Environment Court
  • Recent developments in planning law
Faculty Faculty of Law
Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 1



Indicative contact hours


Course Outline

To access course outline, please visit:


Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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