Planning and Development

Award-winning planning advice to successfully deliver your important development projects.

Services Experience People Publications EnviroDevelopment

Our award-winning planning and development team understands the intricate web of planning laws encompassing all levels of regulation, from Commonwealth to local government. This detailed knowledge allows us to focus on the issues of direct concern to our clients and to deliver the best outcome for any planning or development issue.

Our lawyers have been recognised and listed in some of the world’s leading legal directories and guides, including Chambers Global and Best Lawyers. We are proud of our longstanding relationship with the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA), and our team holds senior positions on various UDIA committees, where they are responsible for the preparation of policy papers for, and submissions on, key pieces of legislative reform and policy.

We offer a complete front to back-end service and advise on all manner of planning issues associated with development projects. We advise clients at the early stage of projects as to the appropriateness of a site, taking into consideration their unique requirements, and at the development application stage to ensure that their applications are well structured to provide the best prospects of success.

In planning disputes, our aim is to always achieve the most desirable outcome for our client. We know that litigation, and ultimately a hearing, is not always the best path to follow, and will always be looking for appropriate solutions - which may include negotiation or mediation - to resolve the dispute and achieve our client's objectives.

Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that our clients have the best prospects of successfully delivering their development projects.

HopgoodGanim was recognised as a leading firm in Doyle's Guide to Leading Planning Law Firms - Queensland, 2012, 2014 and 2015, and has recently been named a First Tier firm in Doyle's Guide to Leading Planning & Development Law Firms - Queensland, 2017 & 2018. Three of our Planning & Development partners have also been recently named in Doyle's Guide to Leading Planning & Development Lawyers - Queensland, 2017,  and Best Lawyers in Australia, 2018 & 2019 by the Australian Financial Review. 

Areas of Expertise

  • Town planning law and development approval processes, including litigation for stakeholders 
  • Regional planning and master planning 
  • Due diligence investigations for large resources and property transactions, and public floats
  • Land valuation and the compulsory acquisition of land
  • Built heritage and indigenous cultural heritage advice
  • Environmental matters - including approvals, compliance and enforcement issues, ecologically sustainable development, climate change legislation, vegetation, koala management and coastal protection

Resumption of land services



  • Advising Leighton Properties on the development of HQ, a commercial and retail centre with two towers, providing approximately 38,500 square metres of office space and 3,000 square metres of ground floor retail space. 
  • Advising Boral on its proposed development of a hard rock quarry at Reedy Creek, with approximately 84 million tonnes capacity, a project which the Coordinator General has declared a State Significant Project. 
  • Acting for ALDI Stores in their planning and development work in Queensland, including successfully representing ALDI in its first merit appeal (and subsequent Court of Appeal proceedings) in Queensland regarding the proposed development of a store at Alexandra Hills. 
  • Advising Multiplex and ISPT on the Wintergarden/Regent projects, which required negotiation in relation to the imposition of conditions on the project, a community group concerned with the conservation of the Regent Theatre, and affected neighbours. An appeal to the Planning and Environment Court by these parties was litigated and eventually resolved, resulting in the grant of a development permit by the Court. 
  • Advising on the development of the Port of Airlie mixed use marina, residential and retail development at Airlie Beach, including a ferry terminal, 15 beachfront homes, 365 apartments, a 140-room hotel, a 240-berth marina, a variety of restaurants and shops, and a transit centre. 
  • Advising WA Stockwell on the planning strategy for the development of the Noosa Civic Shopping Centre, and acting in Planning and Environment Court proceedings.
  • Advising Coomera Resort on the master planning of 148 ha of land intended to accommodate significant planned residential growth in the area surrounding the planned Coomera Town Centre. 
  • Advising Mirvac on the proposed development of the Gainsborough Greens master planned community on the Gold Coast, including the development of approximately 2300 households around an 18-hole golf course, with a range of retail and community facilities. 
  • Advising the Department of Transport and Main Roads (Queensland) on a range of Planning and Environment Court matters, including appeals and originating applications. 
  • Advising Coles Group Property Developments on the proposed development of the Ormeau Town Centre adjacent to the Brisbane - Gold Coast railway line at Ormeau, and acting for Coles Group Property Developments in Planning and Environment Court appeals by submitters opposing Council’s approval of Ormeau development. 
  • Advising NextGen Networks/Visionstream on planning, environmental, licensing and cultural heritage issues in relation to the development of a fibre optic cable between Brisbane and Perth.
  • Advising Lewani Springs Resort on a proposed shopping centre expansion in the Gold Coast, including dealing with local Council and other parties in relation to the development application and appeals process.

HopgoodGanim is the exclusive legal sponsor and supporter of the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s national EnviroDevelopment Technical Standards. 

We were named a leading law firm in the area of environmental law in Chambers Asia-Pacific in 2011-2013 and Doyle’s Guide 2013, and have been a lead advisor in the area of environmentally sustainable development, renewable energy development and environmental disclosure obligations for several years.

Our team comprises practitioners who have invested extensive time into learning and understanding green rating tool systems in order to better understand our client’s business and the challenges that environmentally sustainable projects can present.

Our specialists include senior associate Tammy Berghofer, who is an EnviroDevelopment Professional and who has participated in the past two reviews of the EnviroDevelopment Technical Standards, and senior associate Angie Coleman, who is a Green Star Accredited Professional.

In addition to our strong familiarity with the green rating tool systems, we also have a comprehensive knowledge of the National Australia Built Environment Rating System (NABERS). We have experience advising on disclosure obligations under the Federal Government Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure legislation, which requires an understanding of the protocols under the NABERS Energy rating tool.

As a result, we have an in-depth insight into the process and the criteria to be met to obtain accreditation under EnviroDevelopment and other green rating tool programs, and to meet statutory disclosure obligations. 

By combining our environmental law expertise with our extensive and awarded property development experience, we are ideally placed to advise on environmentally sustainable developments and can provide unique solutions to complex problems when planning and undertaking these developments.

Areas of expertise

  • Development and environmental approvals, compliance and enforcement issues, and environmental impact statements
  • Environmental and constraints advice - including ESD, climate change legislation, water and flooding, vegetation, koala management and coastal protection
  • Contaminated land issues
  • Waste management
  • Advice on performance criteria under green rating tools, including EnviroDevelopment, Green Star and NABERS
  • Advice in relation to federal environmental legislation such as the EPBC Act and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act
  • Procurement and tendering strategies
  • Certification processes
  • Contracts, including heads of agreement, EPC, construction, operation, management and consortium agreements
  • Construction contract delivery models, including ECI, alliance, PPP, D&C, DCM and DCOM
  • Construction exit strategies
  • Dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration and litigation
  • Community titles and off-the-plan developments
  • Sales and purchases of commercial, residential and crown leasehold properties
  • Land title dealings, including easements, leases, covenants and carbon abatement interests
  • Sale and purchase statutory disclosure obligations


  • Advising Springfield Corporation on the $60 million Springfield Tower, which achieved a 4-star Green Star rating
  • Advising Aria Property Group on the Botanica building, which achieved an EnviroDevelopment accreditation