(1) The Land and Environment Court, on the hearing of an appeal or otherwise, has a discretion to award compensation to an applicant for an approval for any expense incurred by the person as a consequence of--(a) a council's refusal to grant the approval, or(b) a council's delay in granting the approval,if the Court considers that the council would not have acted in the way it did but for the fact that it was unduly influenced by vexatious or unmeritorious submissions made by members of the public or that the council has acted vexatiously.
(2) An application for compensation may be made on the hearing of an appeal or by proceedings brought for the purpose of claiming compensation.
(3) A claim for compensation may not be made more than 28 days after the date on which the Court gives its decision on an appeal concerning the application for approval or more than 3 months after the date of the council's determination of the application if an appeal is not made against the determination.
(4) Compensation under this section is to be awarded against the council.
Note : The Land and Environment Court has other powers to award compensation under section 677.