Aaron is a partner in Gadens’ Planning, Environment and Government group. He has a thorough understanding of the issues specific to property development and ownership.
Aaron is well regarded for his work with major property developers on their complex legal issues, both at Gadens, and in his former role as the Chief Executive of the Urban Taskforce Australia. Aaron is accredited by the Law Society of NSW as a specialist in local government and planning law. Doyle’s Guide recommends Aaron for his expertise in planning and environment law. The same guide also rates Gadens in Sydney as ‘first tier’ in planning law.
Aaron represented property developers on the NSW Planning Minister’s Implementation Committee - created to bed down the 2008 planning reforms. He also served as an industry member of the NSW Government’s Employment Lands Taskforce.
Aaron also works with certifying authorities and the public sector. He was engaged by the NSW Government to contribute to its green paper on planning reform 'A New Planning System for NSW', released in July 2012. He also advised the NSW Government in relation to the drafting of the Planning Bill 2013.
Aaron is focused on providing practical advice to facilitate urban development and to overcome red tape. He is well known for his ability to spot the issues that others have missed - delivering better, faster and more commercial results. His expertise covers both greenfield and infill development, including the residential, retail, commercial and industrial sectors. He regularly appears in the Land and Environment Court.
Earlier in his career, Aaron worked as a senior executive in the NSW Premier's Department for close to a decade. In that role he served as a high-ranking advisor in the roads, housing, energy, regional development, mineral resources and treasury portfolios. This gave Aaron an unrivalled understanding of the decision-making processes of public authorities. As a result, his capacity to resolve challenging legal and planning issues is second to none.
Aaron is a member of the Law Society's Environmental Planning and Development Committee and the Urban Taskforce's Steering Committee. He is a certified practising planner. Aaron frequently appears at seminars and industry events as an expert speaker on planning and environment law.
Recent experience examples
- Engaged by the NSW Government to contribute to its Green Paper on planning reform "A New Planning System for NSW', released in July 2012.
- Advised the NSW Government in relation to the drafting of the Planning Bill 2013.
Obtained a stage 1 development consent, via Land and Environment Court proceedings, for a 225 dwelling mixed use development within the City of Sydney.
Obtained a development consent, via Land and Environment Court proceedings, for a 182 residential apartment development on Sydney's Lower North Shore.
Successfully defended the validity of a development consent for four residential buildings and 245 dwellings (against a legal challenge brought by a local council).
- Provided advice that led to the approval of a 16 storey mixed use development on the Lower North Shore.
- Provided advice leading to an approval for a 213 apartment and 199 serviced apartment mixed use development in Northern Sydney.
- Provided advice that led to development consent for a 286 residential apartments and 337 serviced apartments on Sydney's North Shore.
- Successfully defended the validity of a construction certificate under challenge in the Land and Environment Court (the challenge related to a 361 unit residential apartment development).
- Provided advice that led to a development consent for a 665 bed student accommodation development.
- Secured approval, via Land and Environment Court proceedings, for a 177 lot subdivision in a coastal location.
- Provided ongoing advice in relation to the development of two residential subdivisions for 4,500 and 5,500 dwellings in an environmentally sensitive coastal area.
- Provided advice leading to the approval of a 44 bed health services facility (including day surgery, pathology, medical imagery, general practice and dental clinic).
- Successfully mounted Land and Environment Court proceedings proving that a development consent for a $4 million development had been granted unlawfully, leading to the suspension of the disputed part of the consent.
- Secured, via Land and Environment Court proceedings, a $1.5 million reduction in development contributions for an inner city development.
- Provided legal advice that secured the removal of a $760,000 development contribution from an inner-city residential development.
- Secured a reduction in development contributions from $500,000 to $63,000 for a large inner city development.
- Negotiated a voluntary planning agreement for the release of a major residential precinct in the North West Growth Centre.
- Negotiated a voluntary planning agreement for a 295 apartment development in the upper North Shore, paving the way for extra density on the strength of a land dedication.
- Negotiated a voluntary planning agreement for a 1,200 lot greenfield subdivision in South Western Sydney.
- Negotiated a voluntary planning agreement for a 280 lot greenfield subdivision in South Western Sydney.