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Katharine Huxley


Katharine is an environment and planning lawyer with experience in development, compliance, local government and administrative law. Katharine acts for both public and private sector clients including the State Government, Local Councils, developers and individuals.

Katharine provides pragmatic and strategic advice on matters spanning planning and environmental law. She has carriage of a wide range of litigation in the Land and Environment Court of NSW, regularly appearing as a solicitor advocate, and has expertise acting for parties both commencing and defending development appeals, order appeals, tree disputes and civil enforcement proceedings.

Katharine was recognised for planning and environmental law in the 2025 edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch.

Katharine sits on the Law Society of New South Wales’ Environmental Planning and Development Committee.


Katharine’s experience includes:

  • providing accessible advice to local government and private clients on matters including:
    • permissibility of land use, characterisation of development and existing use rights
    • compliance and enforcement options and regularisation of unlawful development
    • issues arising regarding development under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) including development applications and consents granted under Part 4, and activity approvals under Part 5.
  • acting in development appeal proceedings concerning land uses including residential development, warehouse and distribution centres, health services facilities, boarding houses, seniors housing, childcare facilities, places of public worship, digital advertising signage, and strata and Torrens title subdivision
  • advising on administrative decision making and governance in Local Government
  • acting for various defendants in judicial review proceedings commenced by objectors challenging the validity of development consents
  • advising on and drafting various instruments and agreements for Government clients, including bespoke voluntary planning agreements and works-in-kind agreements
  • acting in civil enforcement proceedings concerning the alleged unlawful enlargement or expansion of an existing use without development consent
  • acting for a private developer in relation to the redevelopment of a state heritage item, being a complex site heavily constrained by the presence of an endangered ecological community, contamination, state heritage significance and mixed zoning.


17 November 2023 - Knowledge

Not so fast: New guidelines for the withdrawal of development applications in NSW

#Property, Planning & Development

We look at what the new guidelines mean for the development application assessment process and explore practical steps councils can take to ensure compliance.

26 October 2023 - Knowledge

Tiptoeing around the ‘tipping point’ – limits to amending a development application before it is determined

#Property, Planning & Development

Two recent cases remind us of the ‘tipping point’ where proposed amendments to a development application push development into being a new application altogether. We examine five principles of the case in detail.

12 October 2023 - Knowledge

10 key takeaways from the incoming amendments to clause 4.6

#Property, Planning & Development

From 1 November 2023, development applications seeking an exception to a development standard will need to address an amended clause 4.6 of the Standard Instrument. Although not too different from the existing requirements, the development industry and government should keep a close watch on how these minor changes are addressed going forward.

05 October 2023 - Knowledge

NSW Government Bulletin: Same site, different DA: Dealing with multiple consents for the same land

#Government, #Property, Planning & Development

As Councils continue to deal with multiple development applications being lodged for the same development, or additional development applications being lodged for land where an existing consent operates, we explore the various ways Council can accommodate multiple development consents to avoid inconsistencies.

27 September 2023 - Knowledge

Reminder on the limits to imposing conditions when modifying development consents

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

A recent court case considered whether a council had power to impose a ‘deferred commencement condition’ when approving a modification to a development consent. We look at the key findings and broader scope of the power to impose conditions.

Upcoming Seminars