The council gave consent in the 1990s for a gate at the rear of an inner-city property on condition that a further application be made for vehicular access. No application was made, but the new owners said the gate was lawfully used for this purpose and there was implied consent (via council correspondence).
Despite consents attracting the same principles of interpretation as other documents9, it was said (at ) that council files were not available as extrinsic materials for that purpose10. Evidence may identify a thing or place or establish its physical features11, which might include the consent application with plans/annexures, but not council correspondence12.
This principle is from Episode 91 of interpretation NOW!
10 Lake Macquarie  NSWLEC 114 (at [42-44]) quoted.
11 Allandale  NSWCA 103 (at ), Shell  2 NSWLR 632 (at 637).
12 Episode 88 reviews another recent case on development consents.