New rules for judicial review of planning decisions
The period within which a judicial review challenge to the grant of planning permission may be made is to be reduced from the current three month period to six weeks.
The government has now confirmed that the new Rules will come into effect from 1 July 2013. The new time period will apply to applications made to the Court where "the grounds to make the claim" arise from 1 July 2013. Planning permissions granted before this date will remain subject to the old judicial review time limit of three months.
Where there is an opportunity to delay the grant of planning permission (for example, where there is a resolution to grant planning permission which is subject to the completion of a s106 planning obligation), there may well be merit in delaying completion of that s106 obligation until after 1 July 2013 to ensure that the planning permission that is then granted is subject to the new shorter judicial review period.
The Government has also made other changes to the judicial review rules to discourage frivolous claims without merit. So, for example, if a judge reviews a judicial review claim on the papers submitted, and considers it "totally without merit", the court can certify this and the applicant will not then be able to ask for that decision to be reviewed at an oral hearing.
If you have any queries in relation to these new rules, please contact your relationship partner or John Bowman, Head of Planning and Environment