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JUDGE'S WARNING AGAINST 'LEGALISTIC AND NIT-PICKING' PLANNING CHALLENGES

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A leading planning judge has warned against what he branded 'legalistic...
A leading planning judge has warned against what he branded 'legalistic

and nit-picking' planning challenges. He said that those thinking of

bringing such cases to court should 'think long and hard.'

The comments of Mr justice Sullivan came as he rejected moves to rescue

plans for additional staff car parking on a site near Truro.

Newton Abbot-based Excalibur Management Services Ltd had sought to quash a

planning inspector's decision against them last April and to have

the matter re-considered.

The planning inspector backed Carrick DC's refusal of planning permission for the scheme, holding that it would have a significant impact upon the rural location and would be likely to have an adverse impact on the health of adjoining trees that would result in additional harm to the character and appearance of the countryside.

Excalibur challenged that decision on a number of grounds, but all were

rejected by Mr justice Sullivan. And in doing so he said: 'This is yet

another example of a legalistic and nit-picking approach to a decision

letter which is perfectly plain on the merits.'

He said applicants seeking to challenge planning inspectors' decisions

should always stand back and consider the letter as a whole and ask does it

make sense or is there something odd about the decision to allow or refuse

as a whole.

If the answer was that there was nothing odd, then, he said, 'as in this

case, then the applicant should think long and hard about mounting a

challenge.'

He said that planning inspectors were not required to rehearse every scrap

of reasoning in their decision letters, and were not obliged to repeat in

each paragraph the points they had made in the preceding paragraphs.

If they were, he said: 'That would lead to decision letters of inordinate

length.'

STRAND NEWS SERVICE

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