Report of the Chief Planning Officer and Development Director.
The Committee received a report of the Chief Planning Officer and Development Director advising Members of the decisions made by the Planning Inspectorate on appeals against the decisions of the City Corporation since the last such report on 29th January 2018.
Members asked several questions about the report, including whether the Corporation had the right to appeal against Inspectorate decisions, whether officers felt the decisions not in the Corporation’s favour were consistent within the framework of other decisions, whether costs were sought over the numerous failed appeals and whether any measures could be taken to reduce the prospect of appeals being allowed.
The Chief Planning Officer and Development Director responded to the points raised by Members. It was difficult to comment on the consistency of decisions made by individual inspectors using common guidance. However, Inspectorate decisions were mostly consistent with the original decision. A legal challenge was the only way to contest an Inspectorate decision and this had not been done. Officers had not sought costs on the numerous failed appeals relating to advertising hoardings.
A Member said that they were surprised the appeal relating to 35 Fenchurch Street had been allowed, as there were several structures nearby already and the area was heavily congested. A Member added that they agreed and felt the fact that the area was already heavily congested was surely grounds for challenging the decision. A Member said that as decisions were made by individual inspectors, occasional outliers were to be expected.
The Chairman advised officers should be prepared to challenge decisions and try to claim costs where possible.
RESOLVED – That the report be noted.