Avoiding Costs at Appeal

There is only one thing worse than losing a planning appeal, and that is having costs awarded against you. The outcome of an appeal doesn’t automatically result in a costs award, it requires a party to have behaved unreasonably and for the other party to have incurred wasted expense.

In one recent case in Devon, a costs award was made against the Appellant to pay the Council’s costs, which is quite a rare occurrence. After reading on, it transpired that the Appellant had failed to supply the Council with information requested part way through considering a planning application. This can be frustrating yes, but in this instance, it appeared a straightforward request that should have been picked up in validation. Fast forward, and the application was refused, an appeal dismissed, and the Appellant was on the wrong side of a costs award.

“I therefore find that unreasonable behaviour resulting in unnecessary and wasted expense in the appeal process has been demonstrated and that a full award of costs is justified.”

It is important to have the right professional planning advice, during an application and at appeal. If you have a costs application made against you, it is vital to put forward a robust defence to prevent appeal becoming even more costly.

Inspire Planning Solutions have a 100% perfect record of success on costs application. We have won costs against both a London Borough and a West Midlands Council in just the last few weeks alone, as they were both found to have behaved unreasonably.

If you have had a bad planning experience with a Council, please contact us for advice and guidance on your possible next steps.

Another Planning Success – Chelmsford, Essex

Inspire Planning Solutions Ltd has secured planning permission for an attractive development of 9 apartments in Chelmsford, Essex, which involves the demolition of a large dwelling house, being replaced by a 3 storey new build scheme.

Through a close working relationship with the Council, we provided project management and planning consultancy services, which were instrumental in guiding this scheme through to a positive outcome. This compromised a number of pre-application discussions, careful research to formulate a planning argument, and responsiveness to consultee feedback during the planning process.

The application received support from members of the local community with one person commenting that: “these flats will give the opportunity to people like me to get on the housing ladder”, demonstrating that the demand for housing, when combined with a well thought out development can get the backing from wide-ranging stakeholders.

Our Planning Consultant, Thomas Konarski, commented on the success adding, “underused sites in the urban areas can be turned into opportunities with the right vision and team“.

For residential development advice and support please contact us by calling 0161 428 0445 or by email info@inspireplanning.co.uk

A Heritage Led Development

For over a year, Inspire Planning Solutions Ltd, has been working closely with our clients and a Northern Council, on a housing redevelopment in the centre of a former industrial town.

This heritage led development will feature a stunning listed building as the centre piece of the redevelopment. However, it is not a straight forward project due to a number of surrounding older buildings that need major work and are well past their best!

The Council is seeking to protect these other non-listed structures by not allowing their removal which is creating a ‘catch-22’ situation; no removal = lack of investment + further decline! (not to mention the even greater restoration work that will be required in the future).

We are currently looking at solutions with the Council to progress this project, please watch this space for further news…

Colne Feasibility Study

Across many urban areas of Northern England, the relics of our industrial past can be seen – large textile mills, many of which are disused and derelict. In the right hands and with a little imagination, these properties can be turned into exciting spaces for business start-ups, retail outlets, art studios and conference facilities.

Inspire Planning Solutions Ltd have been working on a feasibility study to turn one large disused mill into an art and exhibition space. One stumbling block to the proposed development was the planning policy for such buildings set by the Local Council. They saw the possibility of the mill still being used under the umbrella of protected employment.

Inspire Planning Solutions provided technical reports that demonstrated any protected employment policies that were in place are now no longer valid for these types of buildings and it was time to open up the building for further uses. The number of jobs that would be created and the support the development would offer to the Council’s economic development strategy were also highlighted and will pave the way for an exciting new use!

Why YOU should appeal!

Refusal, in whatever form is disappointing.

As far as your planning application is concerned, it need not be the end of your project as there is a right of appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. According to the Planning Inspectorate’s records, on average, one appeal in three is successful and this rate has remained broadly constant over many years.

If you disagree with your local Council’s decision, you can appeal within 6 months from the decision notice date.

At Inspire Planning Solutions Ltd, we can review your application and provide advice on the chances of success at appeal, or if an amended form of development would stand a better possibility of obtaining consent.

We have vast experience in all types of appeals including householder, written representation appeals, hearings and public inquiries, and we’ll advise on the most appropriate appeal method to avoid wasting time and money.

If you would like some impartial advice, please call us today on 0161 428 0445 or complete our contact form by clicking on this link 

Another Enforcement Notice Overturned on Appeal

Farooq and the team have achieved a rare feat in the world of planning – we have helped secure the withdrawal of a Council’s  Enforcement Notice.

This case has proved to be a very painful lesson for the local authority. Rather than listening to objections by vociferous neighbours, it is important that Councils make fair and subjective decisions on planning applications.

Had the Council recognised their mistake and investigated the application in a sensible manner, they would have saved not just themselves, but the property owner and the Planning Inspectorate, a lot of time and money. It could now become even more painful, as future proposals indicate the Council may have to reimburse the Planning Inspectorate’s costs as well.

We’re hoping that this example might just install more discipline to all those involved in the planning process.

If you find yourself in a similar situation and would like some advice on how to submit a planning appeal, then please contact us today.