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Local authority must reconsider planning application from point at which infirmity began to creep into the process

By: Ian Fitzharris BL

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High Court, in commercial court planning and development judicial review proceedings following a dispute between the parties as to the form of orders the court should make given the parties' consent to the quashing of a decision by a local authority to grant planning permission for housing development, finds that: (1) it is appropriate, given the court's scarce time and resources, to exercise judicial restraint and grant an order of certiorari in respect of the decision on the sole ground that the decision failed to record properly its reasons, and the order will not include the applicant's other grounds of challenge, and (2) the planning application will be remitted to the point in time when the infirmity began 'to creep into the process', i.e. immediately before the Council commenced its assessment of the application and after it had received further information.

Commercial court - judicial review - planning and development - decision to grant planning permission for housing development - consent to order of certiorari with costs on certain specific terms - terms of concession not accepted - judgment on form of orders to be directed - planning application details - grounds of challenge - reasons given for grant of planning permission - whether decision irrational - whether decision void for uncertainty - whether decision failed to record proper screening for either EIA or AA and therefore in breach of EIA directive and/or habitats directive - agreement between parties that special costs provisions in planning matters covered proceedings - concession/remittal proposed - point in time of remittal - applicable statutory regime in planning matters - whether proposed remittal order is too narrow taking into account applicant's grounds of challenge - court's jurisdiction to remit on terms proposed - whether nature of proposed remittal unclear - Order 84, rule 27(4) RSC - appropriate to exercise juridical restraint - certiorari based on failure to give reasons - caselaw on court's powers of remittal in context of judicial review - appropriate to take account of expense and inconvenience of making an order of certiorari without more - point in time when infirmity started to creep into process - rights of all parties following remittal

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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