Masthead Local Govt - Planning

Exercising delegated authority in planning

Construction iStock 000002149516XSmall 146x219A parish council recently enjoyed success in a legal challenge over a purported exercise of delegated authority. Meyric Lewis explains how.

Newton Longville Parish Council has secured a quashing order by consent in their judicial review challenge to a grant of planning permission by Aylesbury Vale District Council under purported exercise of delegated authority. 

District Council members resolved to grant planning permission for residential development “delegated to officers... subject to such conditions as are considered appropriate and to include a condition requiring that a reserved matters application be made within 18 months of the date of permission and that any permission arising from that application be implemented within 18 months”.

In exercising their delegated authority, officers took the view that there was insufficient justification for shortening the period for applying for reserved matters and for requiring implementation within 18 months. But that matter was neither raised with members nor addressed in the delegated report published by the Council.

In committee, members had wished to impose these short timeframes because they were concerned about the length of time that the site had remained undeveloped notwithstanding the existence of planning permission granted in 2007 and then renewed in 2011 and so they wished to encourage the building out of the site more swiftly than if longer timeframes were allowed.

Permission to apply for judicial review was granted by the High Court on the ground that the decision went beyond the terms of the delegated authority because it conflicted with the confined terms of the members’ resolution. Permission was also granted on a ground concerning the related section 106 agreement and in respect of officers’ failure to provide adequate reasons, as required by under reg. 7 of the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014, in that they did not address the matters relied on as justifying a departure from the terms of the members’ resolution in the delegated report.

The District Council and Interested Party have now signed a consent order submitting to judgment on all grounds.

Significant points to note on the case are that:

  1. The parish vouncil’s grounds distinguished Ouseley J’s decision on implied delegated authority in R (Couves) v. Gravesham BC [2015] EWHC 504 (Admin) because of the specific requirements as to time frames stipulated by members, see Couves at 47
  2. It highlights the importance of officers going back to the terms of any resolution delegating authority to them and ensuring that their proposed action complies with its terms.
  3. Developers and potential challengers will be astute to perform the exercise under (2) to see if a challenge can be mounted.

So there are practical consequences for officers, similar to when they receive an engrossment of a section 106, that they check the terms of what was resolved/agreed before issuing a formal grant of permission.

Meyric Lewis is a barrister at Francis Taylor Building. He represented Newton Longville Parish Council instructed by Bob McGeady of Ashtons KCJ.

Archive

Search more than 10,000 articles

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Choose Newsletter(s) (tick all that apply)
 

Featured Events

Fixed term tenancies - Cornerstone Barristers

London

CPD Hours3 FeeEarly Bird offer £30+VAT (Until 1st October) / Standard Ticket £40 +VAT VenueCornerstone Barristers, 2-3 Gray's Inn Square, London, WC1R 5JH More details to follow...
→ View listing
Succession & assignment of tenancies - Cornerstone Barristers

London

CPD Hours3 FeeEarly Bird offer £30+VAT (Until 1st August) / Standard Ticket £40 +VAT VenueCornerstone Barristers, 2-3 Gray's Inn Square, London, WC1R 5JH More details to follow...
→ View listing
Local Authorities – Planning Seminar Series 2018: Leeds - No5 Chambers

Yorkshire

No5 Barristers' Chambers Planning Group invites you to join them at their Local Authorities Seminar Series which is taking place in London, Bristol, Leicester and Leeds. The Seminars consist of a morning session dedicated to Planning and Development Update...
→ View listing
Local Authorities – Planning Seminar Series 2018: Leicester - No5 Chambers

East Midlands

No5 Barristers' Chambers Planning Group invites you to join them at their Local Authorities Seminar Series which is taking place in London, Bristol, Leicester and Leeds. The Seminars consist of a morning session dedicated to Planning and Development Update...
→ View listing
Commercial property: CRAR and forfeiture of lease - High Court Enforcement

Distance Learning

Cost: Free-of-charge This webinar will cover commercial property and forfeiture of lease and is intended for those in the commercial property sector and property solicitors.  
→ View listing
FTB Annual Planning Forum

West Midlands

This half day afternoon seminar will provide an opportunity to be informed about and discuss the latest developments in planning with some of the leading barristers in the field. It will focus on key practical issues, providing a convenient way for busy...
→ View listing
High Court enforcement for business - The Sheriffs Office

Distance Learning

Cost: Free-of-charge In this CPD webinar we will cover High Court enforcement for business, this webinar will be useful content for solicitors and credit controllers and for any one who has their own business|
→ View listing
Local Authorities – Planning Seminar Series 2018: Bristol - No5 Chambers

South-west

No5 Barristers' Chambers Planning Group invites you to join them at their Local Authorities Seminar Series which is taking place in London, Bristol, Leicester and Leeds. The Seminars consist of a morning session dedicated to Planning and Development Update...
→ View listing
HB Editorial Services Ltd 2016.