“Quick question, what would you recommend be done if you buy a development site with plans to develop it into villas, townhouses, units etc and then it becomes apparent that council will not allow the development as others nearby are being knocked back based on neighbors objections?” @DaveM LONG ANSWER Few ways to handle above situation (Given that you have hired right team): 1. Don’t take no for an answer. Familiarize yourself to words like, Variation, Exception, Policy not met but objective satisfied, dispensation. These words are commonly used to allow development that is outside of policy/Box. If you can negotiate with council, that is the easiest and cheapest option. Planning controls (should) work on give n take situation at most pro development council. 2. If you still get knocked back from Local authority ( for countless reason), take the matter to Land & Environment court, VCAT(vic), QCAT(qld), WAPC(WA). Here, · You may have to wait a while to get approval · You may have to adjust design, Bulk, Form, material. · Your proposal will be assessed on local and state policy and your overall effort to achieve best development possible on site · All neighbors and opposing parties are locked in one room. · Neighbors objection wont stand a chance, as long as proposed development meets requirement. · Some what time consuming and costly but You will get final YES or NO Just to give you an idea, came across a NSW Developer not long ago. Their proposed development attracted 800+ objections (inc ex-planning minister) . Anyway, long story short, they manage to get an approval. Moral is, get the design and planning control right and stick to your guns! SHORT ANSWER! Have capacity to hold that property as long as it takes and buy better property next time!