Importance of the planning officer’s report to committee
When the planning committee of the local planning authority is determining a planning application, the planning officer will write a report on which the members of the committee will rely for information and guidance.
Decision makers have a statutory requirement to have regard to the development plan for the area and any other material considerations. Further, there is case law that requires that the decision maker must properly interpret the policy (EC Gransden v SSE 1987).
In R (on the application of Gibson) v Mid Sussex District Council , the council granted permission for 26 houses on the edge of but outside a settlement limit. The relevant policy stated that such development should only be permitted in exceptional circumstances where there was no other suitable site to meet local need — a ‘rural exceptions’ policy…
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This was the finding of the High Court following an appeal by the losing party from a master’s decision that relief should be granted.