Virtual planning committee meetings

PDP_Virtual Planning

After a three month hole in the planning committee meeting calendar, meetings are finally getting underway again. I am attending my first virtual committee meeting on the 15th June. As an external speaker I have 3 minutes to make my case. A copy of the transcript is sent to the Planning Officer before the meeting in case the technology lets me down, and if this was to happen, my transcript is read out.

We have a number of cases pending a decision at planning committee. These have been held up in the system for months and it is a relief to see decisions again being made again. Whilst new technology can fill a temporary gap, moving to on-line decision could lead to appeals and judicial review if applicants and objectors believe that their interests have not been properly taken onto account.

Most council’s now have robust systems to ensure that judicial review in particular is not a problem, but when council’s make decisions in new ways it can provide a golden opportunity for lawyers because if the council’s procedure is flawed, the decision the council makes is flawed and the decision can be struck down.

For the applicant this can be devastating, having worked hard to obtain planning permission in the first place. We therefore recommend to all our clients that if permission is granted through a virtual planning meeting that they wait the statutory 6 weeks before implementing the consent. For an objector they have 6 weeks after a planning decision to apply for judicial review, once the 6 weeks is up the consent is broadly secure.

Gaining planning permission is a key step in almost any development. Planning & Design Practice is a multi-disciplinary team of Town Planners, Architects, Architectural Assistants and Design Professionals. We can take a project through from inception to completion but we also offer the flexibility to engage a client’s own architects and provide a planning service, whilst our design team can also work with clients who have engaged other town planning professionals.

Jonathan Jenkin, Managing Director, Planning & Design Practice Ltd

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