Michael is one of Queensland's leading specialist planning & development lawyers. Michael has practised in this jurisdiction since 1992 and is listed by Doyle's Guide as a leading Planning & Environment Court litigator. He and his team actively conduct a broad range of appeals in the Court for an extensive range of development proposals. Michael also undertakes a significant volume of work on behalf of local authorities in prosecuting enforcement proceedings in respect of development offences.
Michael also has specific expertise in the areas of environmental law, compensation for compulsory acquisition and liquor and gaming licensing.
In addition to litigating, Michael advises extensively on front end development issues including complex development applications and due diligence investigations. He also has key competencies in respect of infrastructure projects, vegetation clearing, contaminated land, heritage and land resumption. Michael's clients include property developers, landowners, investors and local authorities.
Michael has a reputation for providing astute and commercially realistic advice and for vigorously protecting and advancing his client's interests.
Following is a snapshot of Michael's broad experience.
- Multi Unit Development at Tingal Road (2013 - 14). Acted for the developer undertaking a redevelopment of a former school site for residential multi-unit purposes involving 85 units. Issues involved negotiations with a well resourced local submitter group about the approval and negotiations with Council regarding amendments to the design of the proposal, both of which ultimately resulted in the approval of the development with no loss of yield.
- Major Shopping Centre in Ipswich (2014). Representing the owner of a major shopping centre in the Ipswich area who is involved in multi-faceted negotiations with the State Government and Council regarding the continuing development of the centre and ongoing compliance/maintenance issues.
- Retail Development in Urangan (2013 - 14). Represented the owner of a shopping centre in an appeal against a proposed competing centre. Successfully negotiated a resolution of the matter involving an amended design proposal for the competing centre that was acceptable to my client.
- Resumption in Southport for Gold Coast Light Rail (2012 - present). Acting for a land owner with respect to a resumption claim arising as a result of the Gold Coast Light Rail project that has been referred to the Land Court of Queensland. Issues involve defining the scope of the redevelopment potential of the relevant land, which was for a mixed use (residential, retail and commercial) 45 storey tower.
- Proposed Retail Centre, Upper Coomera (2006 - present). Acting for developer of land at Old Coach Road, Upper Coomera in relation to securing approvals for large scale retail centre on residential/ conservation zoned land. Acted in multiple proceedings in Court. Issues include hydraulics, vegetation clearing, management of waterways and riparian setbacks, hydraulic impacts, planning, need and infrastructure charges. Negotiated separate resumption agreement with Council. Prepared submissions to Council to change planning scheme.
- Brampton Island Redevelopment (2011 - present). Advising a private client in relation to the redevelopment of an island resort off Mackay having regard to the relevant local, State and Commonwealth Government planning instruments and controls. This included consideration of potential development constraints having regard to the island's tenure as Crown land, its inclusion in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975, native title issues, coastal development issues under the Coastal Protection and Management Act 1995, environmentally relevant activities under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 and the referral process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
- Florina Gardens (2012). Successfully represented a developer in an appeal against a deemed refusal of a proposed 270 apartment residential development and restaurant situated at Nerang-Broadbeach Road Carrara, within the Guragunbah flood plain. A key issue in the proceedings concerned the appropriate level of flood free access to residential development in the flood plain and whether the measures implemented by the development were sufficient to ensure that the risk to life and property was acceptable. The decision represents a landmark decision in the development of flood prone land.