West Law Report

Need for roads appeal filter

Posted in Times Law Report by mrkooenglish on October 23, 2008

From The Times
October 15, 2008
Need for roads appeal filter
Queen’s Bench Division
Published October 15, 2008
Regina (Davies) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

There was a need to introduce a requirement that claimants who wished to make a challenge under section 288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 should have to obtain the court’s permission to do so.

Mr Justice Sullivan so observed in the Administrative Court on August 29, 2008, when dismissing an application under section 288 to quash the decision of the defendant, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to grant planning permission, subject to conditions, for the construction of the Heysham to M6 link road.

The application for planning permission was made by the interested party, Lancashire County Council.

The claimant, Linda Davies, was a member of Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe, a group of concerned organisations and individuals which opposed the proposed link road.

HIS LORDSHIP said that the case was yet another illustration of the need to introduce a requirement that claimants who wished to make a challenge under section 288 should obtain the court’s permission to do so, just as they had to do in respect of appeals under section 289.

Had there been such a requirement, it was likely that permission to make the application to challenge the grant of permission would have been refused by the court.

The filter mechanism in section 289 appeared to work well, and there was no sensible reason why it should not be extended to section 288 applications.

Challenges under section 288 had the potential to delay much needed development, even though the grounds of challenge might well be devoid of merit.

Moreover, the need to have a full hearing in respect of all challenges under section 288 of the 1990 Act, regardless of whether or not the grounds of challenge were arguable, greatly increased the costs of all of the parties involved, and occupied the time of the court unnecessarily.

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