Ciaran Houston

Principal  |  Planning and Environment


(07) 3231 0410

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Ciaran is a driven and focused professional who is consistently reliable to clients and others in the industry.

Ciaran is a Principal within the firm's Planning and Environment team, practising in local government, planning, environment and compulsory acquisition law. His expertise is complemented by a background in property and commercial law, with experience in acting for local governments, State government departments, property developers, and commercial clients across various projects and properties all over Queensland.

He regularly appears on behalf of clients in the Planning and Environment Court, Land Court of Queensland and Magistrates Court on all manner of appeals, originating applications, land acquisition and valuation matters and complaints relating to development offences.

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CAREER highlights


  • Bachelor Of Creative Industries, Queensland University Of Technology
  • Bachelor Of Laws, Queensland University Of Technology
  • Solicitor Of The Supreme Court Of Queensland

Awards and recognition

  • Best Lawyers 2022 | Land Use and Zoning Law
  • Best Lawyers 2022 | Planning and Environment Law
  • Best Lawyers 2021 | Land Use and Zoning Law
  • Best Lawyers 2021 | Planning and Environment Law

community involvement

  • Affiliate, Planning Institution Of Australia
  • Member, Queensland Environmental Law Association
  • Member, Queensland Law Society

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Client Solutions

SEQ Local Government
infrastructure dispute
Client problem

Ciaran's client faced important legal proceedings about unpaid infrastructure charges.

outcome achieved

Ciaran successfully assisted the client in winning three court proceedings associated with the recovery of over $2 million in unpaid infrastructure charges and public road works from a developer with a history spanning over two decades.

North Queensland Local Government
Planning and environment
Client problem

Ciaran's client faced a significant challenge by submitters against a quarry proposal in the Planning and Environment Court.

outcome achieved

Ciaran successfully defended the Council's approval of a large quarry intended to service the construction of a $500 million major road project. The appeal involved matters of environmental importance, including impacts on vegetation and a 900-hectare water catchment.

Residential Land Developer
Planning and environment
Client problem

Ciaran's client was seeking approval for townhouses on low-density residential land at the time Brisbane City Council changed its policy.

outcome achieved

Ciaran's client successfully obtained development approval from the Planning and Environment Court for their townhouse development. Ciaran took an aggressive approach to the conduct of the appeal to ensure the matter reached a hearing before the Council's draft amendment took effect. The case may be one of the last successful townhouse projects on low-density land in Brisbane.

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Ciaran Houston's INSIGHTS

Overhaul of Planning Controls for Residential Uses
Are You Happy With Your Land Valuation?
Qualifying For Compensation Under The Planning Act 2016
To Airbnb Or Not To Airbnb? — That Is The Question
How Relevant Are “Relevant Matters”?

Planning and Environment

Unpalatable Approvals
Tall Staff Image of Ciaran Houston

Get in touch with Ciaran Houston today


(07) 3231 0410