All back from the holidays – yes we are!!!
What do we find? Well the final ‘West Briton’ of 2014 had a report on the cost of appeals awarded against the Council in favour of developers. If the Council rejects a proposal and the developers go to appeal and win the Council has to pay up.
We have always argued against this aspect of the planning system. It gives developers extra rights compared to the community and encourages the granting of planning permission when it is (often) inappropriate. If there is to be an appeals element in the planning system then two reforms are needed – 1) community groups can also appeal against a decision, and 2) costs are not awarded!
It has been argued that the lack of a local plan has allowed developers to go to appeal. Maybe maybe not. Developers are aware of all the sites which have at various times been proposed for development. Even with a local plan it is likely they would go to appeal and with a Government (and opposition) hell-bent on development, they are likely to get permission.
We would of course argue that it would have been far better that a local plan had been produced several years ago with a more reasonable target of say 29,000, but that’s another story.