Woolwich Marina development - Appeal

Published on 09 May 2024

Woolwich Marina.JPG

The applicant of the Woolwich Marina development application (DA) which was refused by the Sydney North Regional Planning Panel has filed a Class 1 Appeal in the NSW Land and Environment Court on 9 April 2024. They are seeking to have the refusal overturned and the development approved.

Development Application

The development application was originally formally lodged on the NSW Planning Portal on 13 July 2023 and sought consent to undertake alterations and additions to the existing Woolwich Marina to expand the berthing facilities available for a range of different vessels.

Overall, the development seeks to increase the storage capacity of the marina from a total of 45 to 79 vessels (including marina berths and swing moorings). 

Council’s independent planning consultant undertook an extensive review of the proposal, which involved seeking comments from the community during the public exhibition phase. This resulted in Council receiving 121 objections to the proposal, with the applicant providing 311 submissions in support of the proposal, however only three submissions are deemed to be unique as the remaining 308 submissions were form letters and therefore only counted as a single submission.

Sydney North Regional Planning Panel 

Following a review of all submissions from the general public, internal departments and government agencies, a report was prepared by Council’s independent planning consultant and put to the Sydney North Regional Planning Panel (as the relevant Consent Authority) for determination, recommending refusal for a number of reasons. As part of the Panel’s deliberations, a public meeting was held where members of the community were able to address the Panel members and put forward submissions both for and against the development.

 At the conclusion of the public meeting, the Panel met with both the applicant and Council and it’s planning consultant to discuss the report and its findings.

Following the meeting, and further deliberations from the Panel members, Council was advised that the Panel formally refused consent on 29 February 2024 on the following grounds:

  1. The proposed development has not fully addressed the SEARS, including but not limited to the following matters:
    • Incomplete community consultation, including with the Local Aboriginal Land Council regarding potential impacts on Aboriginal heritage values;
    • Other heritage impacts, including a detailed analysis of the potential impacts of a known shipwreck (as requested by the Heritage Council of NSW); and
    • The navigational safety implications of the proposal having regard to current users of the waterway and the relevant legislation.
  2. The Visual Impact Assessment provided late in the assessment process has not provided sufficient detail or consideration of the visual impact of the proposal both to and from the site and having regard to the cultural impacts of the proposal.

  3. There is a lack of detail and assessment of the permissibility of the proposal particularly in respect of any existing use rights that may apply to the site, and as such, there is insufficient information to establish whether the proposal is permissible under the relevant zones.

The formal Notice of Determination refusing consent was issued by Council on 5 March 2024.


The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 provides an applicant who is dissatisfied with the determination of a development application, the right to appeal to the NSW Land and Environment Court against the determination.

The Applicant has now exercised that statutory right, filing a Class 1 Appeal in the NSW Land and Environment Court on 9 April 2024, seeking to have the refusal overturned and the development approved.

Further details of the next steps involved in defending the refusal will be provided in future updates about the matter.


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