Planning Appeals - Representations to the
Secretary of State
Planning appeals can be quite daunting for the client but where they are in reality a system of appeal that is independent of local authorities and the client. This independence provides a means of recourse against what can be seen as a wholly unsatisfactory decision making process on the part of the local Council and an abuse of their powers in some cases.
The 'Practice' has undertaken several planning appeals and where we have had a 75% success rate in overturning local authority (Council) decisions.
Systems of Appeal
There are three modes of appeal. The difference is that two of the methods are systems where the client cannot be reimbursed for his appeal costs. In this respect there is only one method where upon a successful appeal the client can recuperate his or her costs. That is in the equivalent of an 'open' court system of appeal. But, as one can imagine, the latter is a far more costly process and where professional costs are higher than the two methods. Therefore both the client and this practice have to have a 50% plus confidence level (and preferably 75%) that the case will succeed.
First Steps in redressing the Refusal
The client discusses the refusal with our 'Practice'. We then ascertain the probability of success and advise the client appropriately. In this respect the 'Practice' does not advise a client to move forward unless the confidence level is not there. Indeed, the integrity of the 'Practice' stops us from advising clients otherwise.
Appeals that are direct to the Local Authority - Council Housing Developments et al
When local residents and area residents are confronted with a planning application for approval by the Council themselves that will cause immense hardship and problems for residents, both at construction stage and after completion, there is little redress. Therefore it is essential that residents, who have a case against a Council's development plans, are advised by professionally and competent consultants. A signed petition, possible recourse to the European Courts of Human Rights, the building of a case against the Council and appearance before the Council's Planning Committee to give representation, are all part of the service that this 'Practice' offers.
Therefore, even if it is the local authority who wish to build something on their own land such as a housing development, there are ways and means to fight the Council on the grounds of unreasonability and people's common and European rights. In this respect also, no one is above the law not even statutory authorities such as our Councils. Considering these facts, this 'Practice' will assess initially the strength of your case and advise residents accordingly to whether it should be pursued or not.
Indeed, never think that because the odds are stacked heavily against you that you have no chance of overturning the Council and their officers. As an example, in 2005 residents were against a 30 unit Council development in Huddersfield where it was to be funded directly by central government. Therefore it was a so-called priority scheme. The problem was that this scheme would have created a living hell for residents during and after construction as the only access was a narrow road with predominantly on-road parking. In this respect the Council in their wisdom had previously sold the exit point to a developer who had built an old folks home. At the initial Council meeting the Councillors were split 50/50 and the chair had the casting vote. He in his wisdom selected to adjourn for further information. At the second Council meeting and after the Councillors had fully reviewed the information provided, eleven of the Planning Committee members voted against their own scheme (with one Councillor abstaining). This shows clearly that when a case against the local authority is undertaken professionally and on solid grounds, even Councils can be made to vote against their own development works.
1. A standard written appeal varies between £2,000 and £5,000 for typical developments - costs are not reclaimable
2. A written and oral appeal varies between £4,500 and £8,500 for typical developments - costs are not reclaimable unless there are some very exceptional circumstances
3. A full 'open' planning appeal varies between £8,500 and £15,000 for typical developments .- costs are reclaimable upon successful appeal.
Office Contact - 01484.461193
Direct Contact - 07880661574
Office: 48 Market Street, Milnsbridge, Huddersfield, HD3 4HY