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Planning and environment

Planning and environmental issues play a crucial role in the success of many projects and commercial transactions, especially as planning authorities strive to shape urban and regional landscapes.

Gadens Melbourne has a strong pro-development focus and a proven track record in providing legal services to a vast variety of clients including developers, institutional, retail, industry and government clients.   

We act at every stage of the process ranging from initial advice regarding the viability of a project, to preparing planning permit and rezoning applications, representing clients at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), Planning Panels and Advisory Committees and dealing with all issues that may arise in the process of developing land.

Our early involvement in projects is instrumental to achieve optimal minimisation of planning and environmental issues and to ensure expedient planning approval.  We take a commercial approach to our clients' issues while working within the statutory framework in land development.

We understand the complexity of issues in this area of law. Our extensive breath of legal experience and grasp of the inherent commercial considerations provides our clients with the reassurance of the best legal outcomes in a practical manner. 



  • Acted for the Satterley Property Group in relation to the redevelopment of the former Kodak facility in Coburg, as well as various other sites in Victoria’s urban growth area.
  • Acted for the Grollo Family regarding the subdivision of land in Phillip Island, including representation at a successful appeal at VCAT.
  • Acted for Cedarwoods with respect to the development of the former RAAF site in Laverton. 
  • Acted for landowners in Panel and Advisory Committee Hearing with respect to Precinct Structure Planning and the Logical Inclusions Advisory Committee process to include land in the Urban Growth Boundary.
  • Acted for many private developers of land in VCAT appeals for proposals including residential apartments towers, townhouses and terraces. 

Health and education

  • Acted for the Epworth Hospital in relation to the $700 million redevelopment of the Epworth Hospital in Richmond and achieving a successful outcome at VCAT.
  • Acted for Korowa Anglican Girls School regarding various development proposal for the School’s site, including representation at a VCAT appeal for the construction of a new Administration and Chapel building.
  • Acted for Melbourne Grammar School and Melbourne Girls Grammar School regarding planning and liquor licensing matters.
  • Acted for ISPT Pty Ltd regarding the redevelopment of the Barkly Square Shopping Centre in Brunswick and the redevelopment of the Strand Arcade in the Melbourne CBD, including representing it at VCAT.
  • Acted for the top banks and providing advice with respect to financing land development project.
  • Acted for other superannuation companies including CBUS, AMP and Australian Unity regarding the development of commercial, residential and retail projects.

Industry and commercial

  • Acted for Allied Mills in numerous planning scheme amendments to protect the use of its land at Kensington for industrial purposes as a Mill.
  • Acted for GrainCorp and provided environmental advice, including representation in Court proceedings.
  • Acted for Centro Properties Group and successfully opposed the rezoning of land.

Compulsory land acquisition

  • Acted for many land owners in relation to compulsory land acquisition matters and representing those clients with respect to claims for compensation and settlement of those claims.
  • Acted for various acquiring authorities in relation to land acquisition matters and represented those authorities in some of the most significant Court cases in this area of law.

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