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If a local planning authority behaves unreasonably in deciding to issue and then to prosecute an Enforcement Notice, that authority opens itself up to an award of costs in favour of a...
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"The competence and professionalism of your staff was invaluable."
Mr R Mathon, Worcs
First class service all round. Many Thanks
Mr S, Tewkesbury
If a local planning authority behaves unreasonably in deciding to issue and then to prosecute an Enforcement Notice, that authority opens itself up to an award of costs in favour of an appellant. So it was in a recent case in which DF Legal were instructed to represent clients at a Public Inquiry appeal against the issuing of an enforcement notice.
Working closely with the client's own Planning Consultant, we were able to establish that some of the problems the Planning Authority had to overcome were
An application was made before the Planning Inspector for costs.
A full costs order was made against the Council, the Enforcement Notice was quashed and the clients are now happily developing out their land.
The case demonstrates that for a Local Planning Authority, following planning policies is not always enough. Planning Authorities have procedures to follow in making their planning decisions and if they fail in doing so they risk financial censure. They have to act reasonably and they have to support with compelling evidence each and every decision they make.
It's always worth enquiring whether the Authority has followed its own scheme of delegation to officers when considering planning matters of all kinds.
The case also demonstrates the need for professional assistance when clients are faced with such matters.
Head of Planning Law at DF Legal LLP
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