Mon, 02 Mar 2020
Chris Young QC and Howard Leithead have successfully resisted a challenge to a decision to grant planning permission by Brighton & Hove City Council. The planning permission was for a mixed-use development in Hove, including a new synagogue for the Brighton & Hove Hebrew Congregation.
The No5 barristers represented AGB Reading LLP, the First Interested Party, who submitted the planning application together with the Brighton & Hove Hebrew Congregation. Howard Leithead appeared unled in the High Court oral permission hearing.
The Claimant applied for permission to bring a judicial review claim. The grounds were based on alleged failures in the Officer’s Report to the planning committee that resolved to grant permission.
However, the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the High Court to refuse permission. The Court of Appeal held that the grounds of appeal had taken isolated words and sentences from the Officer’s Report out of context. It further held that the judge in the High Court was entitled to take the view that the decision would not have been different if the alleged error had not been made.
This challenge serves as a reminder that Officers Reports, in the words of the Court of Appeal’s decision, “must be read benevolently and as a whole, without excessive legalism and nit-picking.”