PLANNING : REFUSAL GROUNDS
PLANNING PERMISSION : REASONS : ADEQUACY OF GROUNDS GIVEN : PARTIES SEEKING GENERAL DECISION FROM INSPECTOR : CHALLENGE ON BASIS OF LACK OF DETAIL IN DECISION : PUBLIC BENEFIT
Where parties were content to deal with matters that pertained to an appeal against a refusal of planning permission in general terms, a decision by a planning inspector could not be challenged on the grounds that it failed to go into great detail.
The appellant (B) appealed against a decision of a planning inspector of the respondent secretary of state that dismissed his appeal against a refusal of planning permission by the second respondent planning authority. B, who ran a legal practice, had applied for planning permission for the use of part of a building for office use and the demolition of an extension to that building. The planning authority dismissed the application for three principal reasons: (i) an unacceptable loss of housing accommodation contrary to the local development plan; (ii) the proposed alterations were detrimental to the street scene; and (iii) the proposed office use was likely to prejudice the residential occupiers of the building. B’s appeal was dismissed by the planning inspector on grounds that were similar to those given by the planning authority. In reaching his decision the planning inspector considered that, whilst there would be some community benefit in allowing the development, that benefit was limited and not sufficient to outweigh the need to maintain housing accommodation. B contended, inter alia, that in reaching his decision the planning inspector had failed to have sufficient regard to the benefit to the public if the proposed development was allowed.
HELD: It had been open to B to advance his case as to what benefit the proposed development would have for the local community. It appeared that B had not given any details about the legal practice in question but had confined himself to generalities. It was plain that the planning inspector, in reaching his decision, had sufficiently borne in mind the need for the local public to have access to legal advice and related facilities. Further, where parties were content to deal with matters in general terms a planning inspector’s decision could not be challenged for failing to consider those matters in great detail.
BOKHARI v FIRST SECRETARY OF STATE & ANOR (2005)
QBD (Admin) (Sullivan J) 26/4/2005