Over the years, reporters have taken a stronger line on refusing to suspend procedure by granting sists. In a recent enforcement notice appeal the DPEA has refused a sist to allow a planning application for the development that was the subject of the appeal to go ahead, even though the appellant and the planning authority had agreed on the sist. DPEA’s general view is that an appellant can withdraw an appeal pending decision on the planning application. However, enforcement notices are different. Withdrawing the appeal would lead to the notice taking effect, with potential for prosecution, unless the planning authority agreed to withdraw the notice. Given the circumstances of enforcement cases, there is unlikely to be sufficient trust between the appellant and planning authority for each to take those steps. Is it really in the public interest for DPEA to insist on the enforcement notice appeal proceeding when the outcome of the planning application might remove the need for the appeal?
On March 24, 2010