Further Judicial Review Success for Ashtons Legal

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Mid Suffolk District Council has agreed to the quashing of a planning permission it has granted following a successful challenge by Ashtons Legal acting on behalf of an affected neighbour.

The site in Badwell Ash in Suffolk had previously been the subject of a successful judicial review by Ashtons Legal in November 2020.

In that case, Mid Suffolk District Council had granted planning permission for a dwelling despite a planning inspector finding that the development of the site would have an unacceptable impact and that the site was not suitable to be developed. The council agreed to that permission being quashed and subsequently refused the application.

In the present case, the council granted planning permission for what purported to be a garage.

The council once again failed to take account of the Inspector’s decision nor the previous refusal of permission for the dwelling.

The proposed garage was three times the size of a normal double garage and was the same size as a two-bedroom dwelling as required by the council for affordable housing.

The council also sought to justify the decision by quoting a policy relating to extensions to dwellings whereas the proposed garage was completely separate from the existing dwelling and was in the council’s assessment “in an isolated location set well away from neighbouring dwellings”.

When the relevant issues were raised to the council it once again agreed to the planning permission being quashed by consent accepting that it had not taken account of the relevant planning considerations.

On both occasions, Mid Suffolk District Council paid the costs of the judicial review.

Bob McGeady led the team at Ashtons Legal acting for the affected neighbour and instructed Meyric Lewis of FTB Chambers.

Following the quashing of the permission, Bob commented: “It is disappointing that the council did not learn from the errors it had made on the first judicial review application. The requirement to take account of previous Inspectors’ decisions and previous refusals of planning permission is a fundamental part of the determination of any planning application. In this second case, the council failed to take account of any of the planning history at all. This forced our client to take what was wholly unnecessary action which has resulted in the council having to pay costs on a second occasion in the last 18 months. It is to be hoped that the relevant lessons will be learned going forward”.


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