Planning & Environment

It is a quirk of the local review body (LRB) system that, where it is considering a deemed refusal application (i.e. an application the appointed officer failed to determine with the allotted time), and fails to determine it within two months, the LRB is deemed automatically to have refused the application, and the applicant may appeal to a reporter (something we’ve been calling a “double deemed refusal”).

Such cases are rare, though a recent Fife double deemed refusal case for a wind turbine gives an insight into the way the LRB operates in that council. The council simply told the applicant that: “The Council’s Planning Review Body was unable to determine the application within the two month time period mainly due to the lack of scheduled meetings during the summer recess.”

There is no doubt that it’s difficult for a LRB to deal with a case in the two months allotted, and particularly when the proposed development is a turbine – but you’d think it would at least be able to get three members together even in the summer months. Developers with an eye to tactics take note. If you want an application before a reporter, get it before the LRB in the holidays!

Sadly, none of this helped the turbine though, which was refused.

Planning & Environment