Planning Advisory Service (PAS) Logo
Planning Advisory Service (PAS)
Open group | Started - July 2012 | Last activity - Today

Precedent in planning decisions

Gavin Painter, modified 7 Years ago.

Precedent in planning decisions

Hi, 

 

I have found this piece of case law on this website - 

 

in the exercise of planning judgment a relevant consideration may be the local authority's own approach to similar applications in the locality. Public law principles demand consistency in the application of policies by public bodies such as local planning authorities, unless there are good reasons to the contrary. Consistency is required as a broad principle of good administration and derives from general principles of fairness in the treatment of citizens. "

 

Does anyone know the name and year of this case law? 

 

Many thanks

 

Former Member, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Precedent in planning decisions

The answer is Guildford V Sec of State 2009, the inspector had taken into account other decisions for similar developments to the one he was considering. The LPA argued that it was a case of each application on its merits, and the Inspector had therefore misjudged, however the court said, nope........and the quote comes from the judgement. 

 

Liam Hennessy, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Precedent in planning decisions

New Member Posts: 5 Join Date: 12/07/16 Recent Posts

Dear Chris

Many thanks for that information, and the very useful quote from the High Court decision.

But it seems to me that neither the LPAs nor the Planning Inspectorate feel constrained by the judgement:

recently I was refused planning approval for a roof terrace on a closet wing at the back of a property in a terrace - Fermoy Road, Maida Vale -

where four roof terraces were approved in the same street - the most recent one in 2013 under current planning rules.

Of course they used the excuse "each case on its merits", but it seems to me that that is simply unfair and unjust.

So I find it very difficult to advise my client on what can be done.

Do you have any thoughts please?

Best regards

Liam

Liam Hennessy Architect

Former Member, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Precedent in planning decisions

Liam, i think its always difficult, when the imprecise science that is 'planning' is so subjective. In my view it is for the LPA to demonstrate why yours is different to those already approved, and what the harm actually is. The point is consistancy is a material planning consideration and i would be 'banging that drum' every time, and even if you are not succesful , submit  a costs claim on the basis of 'lack of consistancy and inability to articulate actual harm' 

 

Liam Hennessy, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Precedent in planning decisions

New Member Posts: 5 Join Date: 12/07/16 Recent Posts

Hi Chris

Many thanks for that.

I notice that the High Court judgement was "...a relevant consideration MAY be the local authority's own approach to similar applications..."

So it seems to me that there is no obligation on any LPA to do so.

Therefore a planning precedent doesn't having any meaning ?

But you say that "consistency is a material planning consideration". I would certainly like to think so, but I see no evidence that that is the case.

Do you have any such evidence please?

If this is not too tedious.... I have attached two pages from an appeal I made regarding the roof terrace I mentioned.

One shows the Officer's Report (in 2015) arguing why the roof terrace should be not allowed,

while the second (in 2013) shows the Officer's Report arguing why in precisely comparable circumstances the roof terrace should be allowed.

So I don't know how to deal with the LPA directly contradicting itself.