SWS Lawyers advises and represents the Anglican Church on a successful subdivision in Mayfield


SWS Lawyers were pleased to advise and represent the Trustees of Church Property for the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle in their recent development application and appeal to the Land and Environment Court for a two-lot subdivision of 31A Church Street, Mayfield.

Subdivision plans were lodged with the City of Newcastle Council in 2022 for a two-lot subdivision, effectively separating the Church, two dwellings, a driveway, and a carpark from two former parish halls and a former cemetery. SWS Lawyers were instructed to file an appeal in Class 1 of the Land and Environment Court on the deemed refusal of the development application.

The Council argued, amongst other things, that subdividing the land would break the nexus between the heritage item, St Andrew’s Church, and the former cemetery. The Trustees successfully argued that this connection was initially broken with the removal of the headstones and the closure of the cemetery and was further broken by the subdivision and sale of part of the former cemetery land to the Department of Social Housing.

On 11 May 2023, judgment was delivered by the Court, resulting in the appeal being upheld and the development application being approved.

Commenting on the outcome of the proceedings, Property & Planning Consultant Paul Jayne said: “We were delighted to achieve this result for our client. The application was for a paper subdivision with no associated works and no disturbance of either the heritage item or any archaeological remains. The heritage item, St Andrew’s Church, remains in the custodial care of the Trustees, who can now deal with the land that is superfluous to their needs as they see fit”.

For further details regarding the proceedings, please see the following article from the Newcastle Herald: https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/8193944/anglican-church-wins-court-approval-to-subdivide-st-andrews-land/

Photo credit: Extent Heritage