Development Approval conditions Tighe-tly upheld (Pike v Tighe)
High Court finds Queensland development approval conditions bind subsequent purchasers of land
The High Court has held that development approvals (“DAs”) in Queensland run with the land; meaning that subsequent owners of land, including owners of lots in reconfigured land, are bound by the conditions of previously-granted DAs.
In the case of Pike, a particular development approval was granted on the condition that an easement be created on Lot 1 to provide ‘access’ and ‘utilities’ for Lot 2. The Tighes, who purchased Lot 1, failed to create this easement. They argued that the development approval was extinguished by the land reconfiguration. However, the court held that the development approval runs with the entirety of the land, and therefore applies to all lots in the event of a reconfiguration. The Tighes had ‘ample opportunity’ to provide an easement and their failure to do so was a contravention.
Accordingly, the Tighes were ordered to create the easement.
The court’s decision means that new owners of land, as well as prospective purchasers, should ensure that any development approval conditions on the land have been met in order to avoid liability for failure to comply.
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