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Planning Appeals

If you have been served with a decision that refuses to grant you planning permission to develop your home then we can advise you on your rights and merits to appeal. We use our expertise to look at planning decisions and consider the right to challenge negative decisions to the High Court by way of judicial review. We can also offer legal advice or conference on points of potential challenge and help with drafting and negotiation of planning agreements.

Our Partners in the team are accredited by the Property Litigation Association and have 10 years of litigation experience.

Case study

A Camden resident has successfully challenged Camden Council’s decision to grant his next door neighbour planning permission through permitted development rules, to build a basement extension, following an appeal to the High Court.

Mr Michael Eatherley, who lives in Quadrant Grove, appointed Hodge Jones & Allen to challenge the Council’s decision to grant a Lawful Development Certificate for Permitted Development for the basement extension of a neighbouring property. It was challenged on the grounds that the proposed development required substantial engineering not within the permitted development rights.

The proposed building site in Quadrant Grove is a two-storey, 19th century mid-terrace family house with a mansard roof extension adding a third storey. A basement extension would turn, what was originally a two-storey cottage in a tiny street, into a four-storey house. In a relatively short report, Mr Raymond Yeung, a planning officer at the Council, concluded that the proposed development was a permitted development within the meaning of Class A permitted right.

In a judgment handed down at the Royal Courts of Justice, Mr Justice Cranston quashed the Council’s certificate of lawful development granted to Mr Eatherley’s neighbour (Mr Ireland). He said:

“In my judgment, the planning committee asked itself the wrong question with its focus on the works being “entirely part” of the overall development, which would “by necessity” involve engineering works. It concluded that because this was the case it followed that the works did not constitute a separate activity of substance. That is not the approach laid down in the authorities. The Council’s conclusion that the engineering works were not a separate activity of substance followed from a misdirection. It should not have asked itself whether the engineering works were part and parcel of making a basement but whether they constituted a separate activity of substance. The Council needed to address the nature of the excavation and removal of the ground and soil, and the works of structural support to create the space for the basement.

In other words, if the planning committee had asked itself the right question, it would have needed to assess the additional planning impacts of the engineering works to decide whether they amounted to a separate activity of substance.”

The permission to apply for judicial review was sought on three specific grounds:

  1. The proposed development includes a substantial engineering operation that is not within the permitted development right relied upon in the certificate.
  2. (a) The Council misdirected itself before concluding that the engineering works proposed were not a “separate activity of substance”. (b) Alternatively, if this was a question of planning judgement, the Council’s judgement was infected by public law errors and/or in any event irrational.
  3. The interpretation of the “Class A” permitted development right as including the engineering works proposed in this case frustrated the legislative purpose of s. 59 of the TCPA 1990 and/or the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 and was therefore ultra vires.

As well as concluding that the Council had misdirected itself (point 2), Mr Justice Cranston said that the matter of whether the proposed development (point 1) includes a substantial engineering operation was a matter for the Council.

Planning permission refused

If you have been served with a decision that refuses to grant you planning permission to develop your home then we can advise you on your rights and merits to appeal. Our specialist solicitors use their expertise to review planning decisions and consider the right to challenge negative decisions to the High Court by way of judicial review.

Hodge Jones & Allen is also able to offer legal advice or ‘conference’ on points of potential challenge and help with drafting and negotiation of planning agreements. Our Partners in the team are accredited by the Property Litigation Association and have 10 years of litigation experience.

Our Property Disputes Solicitors are backed by four decades of experience. Our legal practice and team of London Solicitors have a strong track record of achieving favourable client outcomes. For expert legal advice use our contact form or call us on 0800 437 0322 today.

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