Planning & Environment

The planning reforms continue to confuse. A recent example was a refusal of planning permission and listed building consent for the same development. Both refusal notices indicated that appeals should be sent to DPEA, and DPEA sent an e-mail to the developer’s agent confirming that.

Fortunately he contacted us, and we confirmed that the planning authority and DPEA were wrong in law. The planning application was refused under delegated powers, so the correct procedure was to submit an application for review by the local review body. Appeals against refusal of listed building consent are still submitted to DPEA.

As time limits were due to expire, a belt and braces approach was taken to the refusal of planning permission: an appeal was submitted to DPEA, as well as an application to the LRB. In the end DPEA conceded that it was a case for the LRB.

This tale is worrying. It would have been all too easy to have submitted the appeal to DPEA, following the guidance given by the planning authority and DPEA. By the time the problem was noticed, the time limit would probably have expired. The result would have been a time-barred case, an unhappy developer, and an agent possibly facing a claim.

Neil Collar

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