In the Construction industry, ‘development consent’ is a term referring to the consent to build given by a state government. In this article, we will examine when a development consent may lapse, the changes posed by COVID-19 and other questions.

The Impact of COVID-19

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, the key piece of legislation that governs development consent, was amended as apart of the government’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan. The government essentially recognised the need for more time for building or development works due to COVID and so, development consents that had not lapsed on 25 March 2020, will now lapse 2 years later as opposed to the traditional lapse maximum of 5 years. This grants builders more time and flexibility in their construction works.

Common Questions

My development consent was granted after 25 March 2020, but before the amendments were made. When will my consent lapse?

Development consents granted between 25 March 2020 and 14 May 2020 will lapse after 5 years. This is the case even if your consent had a lapsing period of less than 5 years.

For example, a consent granted on 1 April 2020 with a 3-year lapsing date, will now be valid for 5 years.

My development consent lapsed after 25 March 2020, will it be extended?

Development consents that lapsed after 25 March 2020 have been extended by 2 years from the original lapsing date.  For example, if your consent lapsed on 30 March 2020, it has been revived and is now valid until 30 March 2022.

My development consent was granted before 25 March 2020. When does it lapse?

Your consent will now lapse 2 years later than the original lapsing date.

For example, if your consent was due to lapse on 1 July 2023, it will now lapse on 1 July 2025.

My development consent lapsed before 25 March 2020. Do I get an extension on my lapsing date?

No. Only development consents that were valid as at 25 March 2020 will have their lapsing dates extended by 2 years.

Is an extension to my development consent automatic? Do I need to do anything?

If you have a development consent that has been extended under the changes, the extension is automatic and you do not need to take any action.

Need Help?

If you would like help with respect to this area, please contact one of our experienced lawyers by clicking here to submit an online enquiry form, calling us on 1300 QUINNS or alternatively, +61 2 9223 9166 to arrange a teleconference or appointment.