Hartley Solicitors is a boutique planning and environment law firm, specialising in Land and Environment Court litigation. The firm was started by Gordon Hartley who identified the need for high quality, affordable planning and environmental advice for applicants. Hartley Solicitors responds to this demand.

Our mission is to provide our clients with the highest quality legal services to assist them in achieving their desired development outcomes in an effective and cost-efficient manner. We are able to charge less by reducing overheads. We cut out the ‘fat’ many large firms carry which ultimately is passed onto clients.


At Hartley Solicitors, our Sydney based team can provide you with expert advice and services regarding any aspect of the planning and development process. Our team has extensive experience in all areas of New South Wales planning and development law including the planning and development application process, merit and judicial review proceedings, objections and submissions to councils,  advice on existing and continuing use rights and heritage issues among other areas.


For further information about Hartley Solicitors or to arrange an appointment, please contact us.




Development applications

We offer advice and assistance throughout development application process including pre-development application advice and correspondence with Councils through to appeals against refused applications in the New South Wales Land and Environment Court. Litigation in the Land and Environment Court is our primary area of expertise. We have a deep understanding of the process and developed a network of experts and barristers who we regularly work with to obtain a positive outcome.

We prefer to take a conciliatory approach to proceedings if possible. We pursue agreements to achieve a positive outcome for client which reduces risks and costs for the client. Of course it is not always possible to achieve a negotiated outcome and we have a high level of experience and expertise in contested litigation if that is the only way to achieve a result for our clients.



Hartley Solicitors can provide expert advice on the legal and historical requirements of a development seeking to rely on existing use rights.


We have acted in a wide variety of matters that have involved development on land that is either heritage listed or falls within a heritage contribution area. We have also successfully overturned an interim heritage orders imposed by Council.



The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) allows for the modification of a development consent without the need for a new development application. For this to be possible, it needs to be found that the  proposed development is substantially the same as the original approval. However, if the proposed modification is not substantially the same as the original approval, a new development application will need to be submitted for assessment.

We regularly provide advice and appear in appeals in relation to modification applications. Typically, we will advise on both the original development application as well as modification applications as they generally fall into an overall strategy to obtain the desired development outcome. However we also act in relation to stand alone modification applications separately from the original development application.


Judicial Review Proceedings

Hartley Solicitors have experience representing clients who have the validity of their approvals challenged in the Land and Environment Court through judicial review proceedings. We can provide advice on the initial prospects of proceedings and recommended strategies as well as acting in judicial review proceedings.



We also advise on dealing with orders issued by Council for illegal works, preparing submissions or objections to development applications, access issues including obtaining easements or obtaining access through the Access to Neighbouring Lands Act and Section 56A appeals against Commissioner's judgments.





435A - 437 Kent Street
Sydney, 2000
New South Wales


  (02) 9248 3497