PREVIOUS DECISION LETTERS & PLANNING APPEALS

The Use of Inspectors' Decision Letters in Planning Appeals

Those involved in planning appeals often produce the decision letters of planning inspectors to bolster their cases. The argument being, of course, that the previous decision is similar to the one in front of the Inspector and should, therefore, be taken into account. However, the Inspector will often say “Each case on its merits” and place little weight on the decision letter which the party thought to clinch the deal. I many cases, this is because the person producing the decision letter has failed to do enough work. Had he done so, then the Inspector might have placed more weight on the cited decision letter.
Here is a quote from an Inspector in a recent decision letter:
“13. I acknowledge that the appellant has also referred to various successful appeal decisions where lawful development certificates for extended gardens have been granted.  However I have been provided with limited information regarding these cases, including how the scale of the sites compare with that of the present appeal site. “

Appeal Ref: APP/X1355/X/17/3181946 - Wood Cottage, Hesleden Road, Hesleden
The message is clear; namely, that the Inspector should be provided with evidence which shows the background to, and context of, the decision letter which we rely upon.
So what could have been supplied if one is relying on a previous decision letter ?  For a start, a small amount of research should provide copies of the location plans.  The decision rejected by the Inspector in the Wood Cottage appeal was in respect of a site in Clyst Hydon, Devon. A search of the LPA website came up with the location plan:




A tad more research produced an aerial photograph:




The production of these materials would have met the Inspector’s criticism and provided a fighting chance that he would give some weight to the previous decision.
My personal approach is that this exercise should be carried out on every occasion when a decision letter is put in evidence.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

NULLITY v VOIDABILITY AGAIN !!

A STRANGE TALE OF STONEHENGE

NOTES ON THE ENVIRONMENT BILL