The NSW Government has abandoned forced mergers.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced the abandonment of proposed mergers, including those that are subject to court challenges.

Reports say the Government gave up the fight to avoid backlash ahead of the state election.

The decision will affect the Woollahra council’s legal challenge to its forced merger with Waverley and Randwick.

Other councils affected include Ku-ring-gai, Hornsby, Mosman, Hunters Hill, Lane Cove, Ryde, North Sydney, Willoughby, Canada Bay, Strathfield and Burwood.

Woollahra mayor Toni Zeltzer claimed it as a “major win for democracy”.

“We have been vindicated,” Cr Zeltzer said.

“We have wasted four years of council time but finally sense have prevailed.”

The NSW is also expected to announce on Thursday changes that will require councils to adopt independent panels to assess development applications.