The Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal against a decision of Mrs Justice Patterson sitting in the Planning Court. The Appeal Court has quashed a planning permission granted by Rother District Council for a housing scheme proposed on the site of a bowling green opposite a grade II listed building in Bexhill. Jenny Wigley represented the successful Appellant who is a local resident.

This is the latest chapter in the long running Loader litigation, in which planning permission for a similar proposal has previously been quashed and been subject to appeal. The case provides an example of where information in an officer’s report is sufficiently misleading and material to justify the finding of an error of law and the grant of substantive relief.

Lord Justice Lindblom (with whom Lord Justice Laws and Lady Justice King agreed) held that information in the officer’s report was so “significantly” or “seriously” misleading as to justify the quashing of the planning permission.  The report had suggested that the Victorian Society had been consulted on the scheme when in fact they had not been.  The impact on the Victorian listed building was a key issue in the determination.  Whilst it was common ground that there was no legal obligation to consult the Victorian Society in this case, the Society had been an objector to the predecessor scheme and its views on the current scheme would have been material to the determination.  Because of the misleading information, the Committee members took into account an immaterial consideration, namely the fact that no comment had been received from the Victorian Society when the Society had not in fact been notified of the application (due to the notification having been sent to an out of date email address).

The Judgment was handed down on Thursday but has only been released in final form today.

To view Jenny Wigley’s Planning CV please CLICK HERE