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Katharine Huxley


Katharine specialises in the areas of planning and development, environmental and local government law, with a particular interest in civil litigation within these areas. 

Katharine provides pragmatic and strategic advice to private sector and government clients on matters spanning planning and environmental law, local government law and administrative law. She regularly appears as solicitor advocate in interlocutory proceedings, and has expertise acting for parties both commencing and defending proceedings in the Land and Environment Court including development appeals, order appeals, tree disputes and civil enforcement proceedings.

Katharine sits on the Law Society of New South Wales’ Environmental Planning and Development Committee and is an Executive Councillor of NSW Young Lawyers.


Katharine’s experience includes:

  • providing accessible advice to local government and private clients on matters including:
    • land zoning, permissibility and characterisation of development
    • the validity of conditions imposed on development consents
    • the requisite process for issuing and enforcing development control orders.
  • advising on development applications and acting in development appeal proceedings concerning land uses such as residential flat buildings, warehouse and distribution centres, health services facilities, boarding houses, seniors housing, child care facilities, places of public worship, digital advertising signage, and strata and Torrens title subdivision
  • advising on and drafting voluntary planning agreements 
  • acting in civil enforcement proceedings concerning the alleged unlawful enlargement or expansion of an existing use without development consent
  • providing advice on whether a Council officer had the requisite delegation to determine a development application, or whether the application was required to be referred to a local planning panel
  • 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
  • providing advice to a private client on the application and weight attributable to a local policy made under the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW)
  • providing advice to a Local Government client as to whether terms of lease may constitute a Public Private Partnership
  • acting for a dissenting owner in strata renewal proceedings under the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 (NSW)
  • appearing in proceedings commenced under the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006 (NSW)
  • acting for the beneficiary of a development consent in judicial review proceedings commenced by an objector in relation to allegations of Council’s failure to consider the substance of an objection in granting a development consent.


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.

14 February 2022 - Knowledge

Lost in transition – consolidation of State Environmental Planning Policies may cause problems

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

We consider some of the potential issues with the NSW Government’s proposed approach to consolidate 45 existing SEPPs into 11 in a bid to make the state’s planning system more transparent and certain.