Sarah Raso

Practice Leader, Environment and Planning, Victoria

RASO Sarah Large


A specialist in complex Victorian planning and development related litigation, Sarah has particular expertise in environmental litigation and cradle-to-grave property development advice.

She also specialises in land acquisition, strategic planning and environmental advice and infrastructure agreements. Her clients include large developers, State authorities, local government, community and faith-based organisations.

Sarah regularly acts in planning and environmental proceedings before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, including appearing in compulsory conferences and mediations. She also has extensive experience in proceedings before Planning Panels Victoria.

Sarah is a member of the Victorian Planning and Environment Law Association and the Urban Development Institute of Victoria.

Key deals

Woolworths redevelopments

Coordinated the proposed redevelopment of ABC's former Elsternwick studios site to facilitate a full line supermarket and two residential towers. Retained early in the project to provide strategic advice prior to the lodgement of a planning permit application, followed by the coordination of a highly contested application at VCAT.

Secured planning permission for Woolworths’ developments in Rosanna, Heidelberg, Emerald, Glen Huntley, Maffra, Cowes and Mernda.

Defended complicated enforcement proceedings in relation to the construction of a Woolworths supermarket in Bright.

Obtained planning permission using Section 87A of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 for a major Woolworth’s supermarket development (plus residential apartments) in Highett, including successfully negotiated settlements with a number of objector parties prior to hearing.

Caydon's Nylex site redevelopment

Coordinated the facilitation of the A$1 billion two stage redevelopment of Melbourne's landmark Malt District in Cremorne. The matter involved a complex staged project application process including combined rezoning and multiple planning permit applications. The project also involved approval from VCAT and Heritage Victoria.

Australian Islamic Mission

Coordinated the high profile contested planning permit application for a Mosque in Bendigo at VCAT, and then on appeal to the Supreme Court and the High Court.

Canaan Holdings, Box Hill South redevelopment

Secured planning approval and a concurrent planning scheme amendment for a significant and highly contested retirement village in Box Hill South. This included litigation as to the ambit of the Tribunal’s jurisdiction, consideration of procedural defects compared to substantive defects and the ability of the planning authority to rescind the adoption of an amendment.

John Gandel’s Port Leo Sculpture Park and Restaurant

Ran the planning permit application and VCAT appeal to re-subdivide and develop a very large parcel of private property in Point Leo on the Mornington Peninsula for a sculpture park, restaurant and cellar door (now Point Leo Estate). The matter involved unique issues of permissibility relating to subdivision of land within a Green Wedge Zone which was also subject to a Heritage Overlay and the use of section 173 agreements to ensure compliance with existing management plans.

Caulfield Grammar

Coordinating a combined master planning approval and complex restrictive covenant removal process.