Planning Controversies Demand Clear Reasons

Planning Controversies Demand Clear Reasons

There are have been a number of reasons that dictate the need to explain planning decisions. The guide below as related to the Oakley green belt case is outlined below.

The legal decision issued in R (Campaign to Protect Rural England, Kent) v. Dover District Council is getting ready to hit the Supreme Court. As we await this case being taken to the Supreme court, it’s well worth it to factor in and assess the approach taken by the Court of Appeals, as it pertains to having an authority grant permission in terms of planning matters, the basic measure and expectation of fairness that comes with it and the potential for policy breaches.

Proposals Met With Controversy

In terms of recommendations, the authority’s officers suggested a less dense proposal. “This proposal was rejected soundly by officers who said that it was not viable, those who objected it bumped back against this judicial review, due to the fact that they claimed the reasons were inadequate,” says Farnham architects who have keen interest in the case.

No Reasons

In this case, the authority’s position was that they are not bound to duty. However, they do assert that the Secretary of State is bound to give reasons pertaining to the granting of permission, as referenced in Hawks worth Securities PLC v. Peterborough City Council. In this case, there were standards in place related to the inspector’s decision to appeal based on administrative decisions.

In this situation, the Court of Appeals noted that this sort of approach required some semblance of care and that the public has the right to know why the decision is put into place. As related to the Dover situation, it is important to make note of the following justifications:

Protective NPPF policies state that decisions in this sort of situation will adversely affect development and if such a decision is to be made, it must be done so with consideration of substantial reasons.

There is a substantial amount of statuary duty in place to levy such decisions, as outlined in Regulation 24 (1) (c) of the Town and Country Planning Regulations of 2011.

Administrative Errors Are Costly

According to the committee’s minutes, legal reasons were not adequately provided due to the following rationale.

First and foremost, it was never all the way clear whether all members had accepted the assessment of harm that was set forth. If so, they would have chosen to create irreversible harm based on the material that was put forth before them – which was limited at best.

Further, it wasn’t completely clear whether or not the members considered these issues a viable risk. This would have made their assertions all the more acute.

On another note, it was also unclear if the protections and balances were in place.

Finally, the conclusions reached upon visual screening were considered “fragile at best”, which means that it would have had to have been supported with more substantial reasoning than the issues that were initially laid out in the minutes.

This judgment confirms that with the lack of a regulation 24 statement in place, it was not enough to supercede any sort of decision that comes into place whenever reasons are plainly laid out, adequate and on the record. When taking a look at the Supreme Court’s judgment, which is on the horizon, it is important to have a definitive position in a place that would set the tone for the scope and reasons for approval. In the interim period, the most sensible approach to be taken in this regard is to have a notable measure of transparency. Transparency, in addition to coherence, will go a long way toward dealing with controversial reasons in the best way possible.

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