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    A planning inspector was entitled in the exercise of his planning judgment to decide that a Grampian condition proposed by an appellant developer for a grant of planning permission for a residential development was too imprecise.

    The applicant developer (O) applied to quash the decision of a planning inspector of the respondent secretary of state to dismiss its appeal against a refusal of planning permission for a residential development. A local planning authority had refused to grant planning permission to O to demolish a football stadium and construct a residential development on the site. The primary ground of appeal before the planning inspector concerned the provision of a replacement football stadium. O proposed that a negatively worded or Grampian condition should be imposed on any grant of planning permission. O proposed that residential development would not begin until it provided an alternative football ground that had equivalent or better recreational and community facilities to those available at the existing football stadium. The planning inspector dismissed the appeal and held that the proposed condition was too imprecise.

    HELD: The decision of the planning inspector had been an exercise of planning judgment with which it was inappropriate to interfere. There were insufficient criteria in the proposed condition to enable him to compare the facilities and conditions of the proposed football ground with those offered by the existing football stadium.

    Application refused.

    R (on the application of ORCHARD (DEVELOPMENT) HOLDINGS PLC v FIRST SECRETARY OF STATE (2005) QBD (Admin) (Judge Gilbart QC) 1/7/2005

    “Lawtel”: 11.7.05