Challenging a Grant of Planning Permission in your Local Area

THERE IS A 6-WEEK LIMITATION PERIOD WITHIN WHICH A GRANT OF PLANNING PERMISSION CAN BE CHALLENGED VIA THE METHODS OUTLINED BELOW. IF YOU THINK YOU WOULD LIKE TO CHALLENGE SOMEONE’S PLANNING PERMISSION CONTACT BECKET CHAMBERS FOR SPECIALIST PLANNING ADVICE ASAP.

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When planning permission is granted for a local development or a neighbour’s extension despite the objections of yourself, and other members of your community, feelings of powerlessness and frustration can be overwhelming. It is natural to be passionate about the area around your home. As a non-party to the planning application you may have discovered that you are not able to trigger an appeal in the way that the person applying for permission could have done if the Local Authority had said no. All is not lost however; it is possible to challenge the grant of planning permission through the process of judicial review.

Judicial review is a formal process through which the decisions of a local authority can be challenged on a variety of grounds. A judicial review will likely rely on legal arguments and it is highly advisable to have instructed a solicitor or barrister to prepare and present your case for you.

If the court finds that the local authority was wrong to grant the planning permission, for example because in doing so they broke the law, or acted irrationally, then the court has a number of remedies available to it, including the power to quash the planning permission. Your legal advisor will be able to explain the potential remedies available to you and the impact they will have.

If you think you might be interested in applying for judicial review you should seek immediate legal advice from a direct access barrister or a solicitor to evaluate whether you have standing and grounds to bring an application. Your barrister or solicitor will also be able to talk to you about the likely costs, and will be able to advise you as to the pros and cons of pursuing or abandoning a prospective application.

There is a 6-week time period from the grant of planning permission within which applications need to be made, if you think that you would like to make an application, or that you might have grounds to make an application, you should, therefore, seek immediate legal advice. You can then either walk away and abandon any thoughts of an application, or get the wheels in motion within the 6-week window.

You may have heard about a separate procedure known as statutory appeal. This is another route to challenging certain types of planning permission under S. 288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Your barrister or solicitor will be able to advise you on this alternative option, and whether it is suitable, during your initial conference. The 6-week time limit applies to this process as well.

Becket Chambers can organise a conference with a specialist planning law barrister to discuss any grant of planning permission with you, and the options available to challenge it. Please contact our clerks ASAP so that action can be taken within the 6-week period. The email address is clerks@becket-chambers.co.uk.