Fast tracking planning cases
- Strictly does it
- Fast tracking planning cases
- Converting shops to residential
- Dwellings held in corporate structures
- Game over
- Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery
- Crossing the ‘I’s and dotting the ‘T’s
- Valuing damages for trespass and hurting the feelings of a company
- Clarifying the relevance of T-marks on a plan
- Did they put that in writing?
First appeared in Informer: Real Estate Newsletter - Spring/Summer 2014
In order to fast track legal disputes relating to major developments, a new Planning Court (forming part of the Administrative Court) came into effect on 6 April 2014. It is anticipated that specialist planning judges will be assigned to around 400 planning related judicial review cases and statutory challenges.
These judges will be required to work to fixed time limits for "significant" cases, including:
- applications for judicial review are to be determined within three weeks of the expiry of the time limit for filing the acknowledgement of service;
- applications for permission under section 289 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 are to be determined within one month of issue;
- substantive statutory applications, including applications under section 288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, are to be heard within six months of issue; and
- judicial reviews are to be heard within ten weeks of the expiry of the period for the submission of detailed grounds by the defendant.
The judge will consider a claim to be "significant" if it relates to commercial, residential, or other developments which have significant economic impact either at a local level or beyond their immediate locality; raises important points of law; generates significant public interest; or, due to the volume or nature of technical material, it is best dealt with by judges with significant experience of handling such matters.
Planning cases will also be able to "leap frog" to the Supreme Court in certain circumstances to ensure that cases of national importance are resolved more quickly.
The Government's original plans for a dedicated Land and Planning Chamber within the Upper Tribunal have been shelved due to the need for new court rules and case management procedures.
Separately, the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill (currently before parliament) includes a number of reforms relating to the financing of judicial review cases:
Protective cost orders for non environmental judicial reviews (which limit a claimant's exposure to costs) will be restricted to exceptional cases properly in the public interest.
Interveners in a judicial review will have to pay their own costs and any costs that they have caused to either party because of their intervention.
All applicants for judicial review will be required to provide information about how the judicial review is to be funded. If the applicant is a company and it is unable to demonstrate that it is likely to have financial resources available to meet such liabilities, information about its members and about their ability to provide financial support for the purposes of the application must be provided.
Claire Brodrick, Associate, Planning and Environmental Group