To consider the attached report.
The Sub-Committee received a report regarding Probity in Planning – Appeal Decisions, 1 October 2018 to 31 March 2019.
In compliance with the recommendation of the District Auditor, the report advised the Sub-Committee of the results of all successful allowed appeals (i.e. particularly those refused by committee contrary to officer recommendation.
The purpose was to inform the committee of the consequences of their decisions in this respect and, in cases where the refusal was found to be unsupportable on planning grounds, an award of costs might be made against the Council.
Over the six-month period between 1 October 2018 and 31 March 2019, the Council received 53 decisions on appeals (46 of which were planning related appeals, and the other 7 were enforcement related).
Out of a total of 46 planning related appeals, 10 were allowed (21%). Broken down further, Committee reversals performed very well with only 4 out of 22 allowed (18%) and there was a good Officer delegated decisions performance of 6 out of 24 (25%) allowed.
Out of the planning appeals that arose from decisions of the Area Planning Sub-Committee East to refuse contrary to the recommendation put to them by officers during the 6-month period, 1 appeal was allowed against decisions made and 8 were dismissed.
Performance in defending planning application related appeals was reasonable at 21%, meaning of course the Council was successful in defending its decisions in 79% of cases. Whilst there was no national comparison of authority performance, Members and Officers were reminded that in refusing planning permission there needed to be justified reasons that in each case must be not only relevant and necessary, but also sound and defendable so as to avoid paying costs. This was more important now than ever given a Planning Inspector or the Secretary of State could award costs, even if neither side had made an application for them.
That the probity in Planning report covering the period 1 October 2018 to 31 March 2019 be noted.