The NSW Government has released its annual snapshot of local councils' performance — exposing their track record in the Land and Environment Court.

The number of appeals has jumped — 388 in the last year, compared with 284 in the year before (a 37% surge).

Only one-third of the state’s 152 councils had to be dragged before the Court for a development appeal.  However, 320 of the 388 appeals related to just 20 local councils.  These frequent flyers were:

  • The City of Sydney, 52 Court appeals, with a developer success rate of 63%;  
  • Hurstville City Council, 31 appeals, with a developer success rate of 71%;  
  • Leichhardt Council, 29 appeals, with a developer success rate of 76%;  
  • Woollahra Council, 25 appeals, with a developer success rate of 76%;  
  • Ku-ring-gai Council, 20 appeals, with a developer success rate of 85%;  
  • Waverley Council, 19 appeals, with a developer success rate of 74%;  
  • Pittwater Council, 18 appeals, with a developer success rate of 78%;  
  • Warringah Council, 18 appeals, with a developer success rate of 67%;  
  • Marrickville Council, 13 appeals, with a developer success rate of 85%;  
  • Parramatta City Council, 12 appeals, with a developer success rate of 50%;  
  • The Hills Shire Council, 11 appeals, with a developer success rate of 73%;  
  • Manly Council, 10 appeals, with a developer success rate of 70%;  
  • Mosman Council, 10 appeals, with a developer success rate of 60%;  
  • North Sydney Council, 9 appeals, with a developer success rate of 56%;  
  • Randwick City Counci, 9 appeals, with a developer success rate of 89%;  
  • Strathfield Council, 9 appeals, with a developer success rate of 78%;  
  • Tweed Shire Council, 8 appeals, with a developer success rate of 63%;  
  • Canterbury City Council, 6 appeals, with a developer success rate of 50%;  
  • Penrith City Council, 6 appeals, with a developer success rate of 17%; and  
  • Coffs Harbour City Council, 5 appeals, with a developer success rate of 80%.  

As the above list suggests, it’s the Sydney councils that are most likely to end up in Court — accounting for 91% of all appeals.

The Land and Environment Court continues to be an effective means of holding local councils to account when they inappropriately block development applications.