Planning instruments

Ku-ring-gai Council v Comanos [2018] NSWLEC 24

Do special rules apply in the interpretation of planning instruments?  This case (at [42]) gives a straight ‘no’ answer, with the result that the ordinary principles of statutory interpretation apply10.

C was charged with installing tiered stairs on his residential development without consent.  Under the planning instrument, however, ‘pathways’ were exempt from this requirement.  The court held that the regulatory context and purpose supported the stairs being simply part of a ‘pathway’11.  As a result, C was cleared of all wrongdoing.  iTip – read planning instruments in the same general way as statutes – that is, by reference to their context and purpose.  

This case is from Episode 36 of interpretationNOW!


10 Cranbrook [2006] NSWCA 155 (at [36]).

11 cf Sahade [2012] NSWLEC 76 (at [33]).