Archive for April, 2011
Recently the High Court has considered whether in a planning appeal if a report was not brought to the attention of a claimant this was against the rules of natural justice and was therefore unfair, rendering the appeal potentially void.
The report, on the question of noise, was lodged as part of the developer’s appeal which was heard by way of written representation.
Robin Purchas QC, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge, decided that on the rules of natural justice, the claimant should have been aware of the documentation that was lodged with the Local Planning Authority.
The judgement is full on this and the other point which was raised and, in my view, is not surprising.
The question that was not considered is what is the position if the documents are not properly filed by the Local Planning Authority or not put on its website for downloading?
Can a person then claim that an appeal should not be allowed, or does he then have a right of action against the Local Planning Authority?
Although this was not considered, it is an area of interest and concern. I am sure that I am not alone in endeavouring to inspect documents either at the relevant office of a planning authority or its website to find that not all documents are available.
What happens, for example, if an inspection is made and the documents are subsequently filed? There are no answers to these points as they will have to be decided by the Courts. However, what is certain is that, as the case law currently stands, if anyone is involved in a planning appeal he should ensure that the planning file of the Local Planning Authority is inspected probably more than once.