Recently the Land and Environment Court has considered the newly introduced provision of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act which enables planning panels involved in application decisions to “direct and control” the Council involved.
In this landmark case, the Court found the Council was indeed subject to both the direction and control of the Planning Panel, but furthermore that when the application goes before the Court in order to enter into an agreement to solve proceedings, that the Panel also becomes joined as a party in this process.
The Decision in M.H Earthmoving Pty Ltd v Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council (No 2)  NSWLEC 101:
By way of a brief background, this case involved a Class 1 Development application to expand an existing landfill in the Cootamundra-Gundagai Local Government Area.
As per the old EPA Act, the development application was required to be heard at the time by the Southern Joint Regional Planning Panel (the JRPP Panel), and at the time the panel determined the application by way of refusal. Upon this decision, the Applicant then filed an appeal with the LEC and the Planning Panel was informed as per the requirements under the EPA Act.