This paper explores how formal and informal institutional arrangements are mobilised in unique ways to secure development approval on Sydney's fringe. The institutional configuration mobilised to secure approval rests on the identity and history of the developer and their project managers and their relations with state and development actors. This paper explores the differential enrolment of formal and informal institutions by those who principally operate within the area (local) and by those who have moved into the area from other regions (foreign). It becomes clear that local development actors are more likely to mobilise informal arrangements to secure approval, while foreign actors are more likely to use formal arrangements. However, this picture is complicated given that some foreign actors pursue local consultants in an effort to utilise existing development relations for their own purpose, while some local consultants avoid certain foreign developers for fear that existing relations will be damaged.