The new appeals system prohibits the variation of an application for planning permission after there is an appeal to a reporter (see new section 32A subsection (3)). Two recent decisions have been made by reporters examining this provision.
The first case was an appeal against refusal of retrospective planning permission for erection of storage sheds for various uses including storage of caravans, the appellant intimated that he would restrict the number of caravans to three. The reporter decided that this was a variation in the application, and that he could not consider it.
The second case was an appeal against refusal of an application for change of use of an agricultural field to a caravan park. The appellant offered to make a minor amendment to proposed landscaping to address issues raised with regard to visual amenity. The reporter decided that such a proposal for a variation could be admitted as evidence, and that he had the power to vary the permission subsequently by condition (so long as the change was not so significant as to change the nature of the development).
The second case also addresses the question of the rule in section 47A prohibiting the introduction of new matters. The reporter decided that this rule did not preclude the introduction of new evidence at appeal, so long as the matter to which it related had been before the planning authority at the time of its decision.
On March 24, 2010