Court of Appeal – Reasons must be given for Not Calling In Applications


The Court of Appeal ruled today that ministers must abide by a published government policy and give reasons for call-in decisions on planning applications. This includes planning applications that were not called in – like the highly controversial Paddington Cube. 

Read the full judgement here.

SAVE successfully argued that under existing policy, announced in the House of Commons in 2001 and restated in 2010, ministers are obliged to give reasons when they decline to call in planning applications. This policy was overlooked by civil servants and ministers since 2014 without apparent explanation. It means that the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government must now follow his own published advice and give reasons for his decisions. The case was heard in the Court of Appeal at the Royal Courts of Justice on 13th September in front of Lord Justice Singh, Lord Justice Coulson and Lord Justice MacFarlane. SAVE was represented by Richard Harwood QC of 39 Essex Chambers and Susan Ring from Harrison Grant solicitors.

In the judgement written by Lord Justice Coulson, he said: “Since a promise had been made to operate a particular procedure then, as a matter of good administration and transparent governance, any change to that policy also had to be announced publicly. It is not a question of fettering the future exercise of discretion, but simply making public the decision that something which had been promised and provided in the past would not be provided in the future. In my view, good administration and transparent government required nothing less. Of course, this did not happen here because no-one in the Department knew that they were changing a promised policy (because they had forgotten about it).”

Coulson LJ added: “An unequivocal promise was made, and that unequivocal promise should have been publicly withdrawn when (or if) a conscious decision was taken no longer to give reasons for not calling in applications …. For these reasons, I consider that SAVE’s legitimate expectation case has been made out.”

Don’t Worry Its Official, wake up, Last Eight Years of Planning have Just Been a Bad Dream

May announces austerity over same day Malthouse announces regional planning is back. Interesting times.

Its official the last eight and a half year have just been a bad dream, we are back in the time of PPS12 and PPS3 where every planner knew these backwards and no casuistry and Jesuitical interpretation of ‘Sustainable development’.  Oh such happy times, too many PPGs but far less gross weight of PPGS and caselaw to ruin your back – despite the aim to simplify it got more complicated-  Now we don have to worry about the ;’weighted balance’ just ‘other material circumstances- which even the chair of the planning committee understands. 

Garden Cities were oddly names Ecotiowns, love the eco but lost a bit of the Ben H radicalism in transition.  WTF garden Cities are back- like its 1909, have we lost a 110 years rip van winkle fashion. Next time I go to sleep and wake up Christopher Wren will have been announced as head of the Kent Estuary JSP, hmm that would be interesting, what Sittingboure really needs is a really huge landmark cathedral and what we are missing so much across the Swale is a giant 600m high  obelisk commanding the Thames approaches as the focal point for 40 miles of avenues and renaissance styles bastides and star towns (as sadly planned but never built by KCII in Cambridgeshire).

It was 300 years of bad dreams, now every tiny town has tiny squares with tiny clipped box hedge rows neat in lines.   Herbacious borders – no they were a crazy bad dream after eating too many of those new fanged devils roots – potatoes.

It was a bad dream, railways never happened, so more more efficient horse and carriages moving to 300ph in vacuum tubes along the sick inducing alignments of country toll roads. 

The Brexit referendum happened because Boris  never got to be London Mayor or in the cabinet, he is now the Telegraphs rather minor Koula  Komput lumber (be caase 

None interesting.  Boris righly on his own -nexcept forhissuited