Planning & Environment

One of the innovations introduced last year is the prohibition on raising new matters in a planning appeal (“not to raise any matter which was not before the planning authority at the time the decision appealed against was made …” – section 47A). A similar rule applies to applications for review to a Local Review Body (section 43B).

There has been much speculation about how reporters will apply this prohibition. Brodies have recently obtained a ruling from a reporter that the planning authority could not submit documents which had been prepared during the application process but not published.

The planning authority sought to submit two internal memos. Neither were specifically referred to in the committee report, nor made available in the planning file relating to the application. The reporter decided that, as they were internal consultations, the issues should have been dealt with in the committee report. He refused to accept the documents.

This ruling shows the potential disadvantage of using a brief style of committee report.

Neil Collar