Social Welfare Lawyers in the Centre of Birmingham

R (XY) -v- Maidstone Borough Council and Smith

R (XY) -v- Maidstone Borough Council and Smith [2016] EWHC 1436 (Admin), 17 June 2016

This was a challenge by a local resident to a grant of planning permission.  There were five grounds of challenge and one of them succeeded.

The ground of challenge that was successful concerned the fact that there were neighbouring sites which were either without planning permission or only had temporary planning permission.  It was claimed that it was not explained by the officers to the Committee that this was the case.  On this ground of challenge Rhodri Price Lewis QC (sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge) stated:-

In my judgment it was material to this assessment that the sites to the north were either in unlawful use and therefore susceptible to enforcement action or had the benefit of only temporary permission (para 19).

He continued:-

In my judgment the members of the committee were significantly misled about material matters by this report in that they were invited to make a decision to grant planning permission in reliance on matters that were potentially temporary in nature that went to a key issue in the decision, namely, the extent of harm to the character of the area by the development for which planning permission was being sought (para 21).

The decision to grant planning permission was, accordingly, quashed on this ground alone.