Lords gives planning lawyers food for thought

Planning and property lawyers are grappling with last week’s surprise House of Lord’s decision on the timing of applications for the judicial review of planning decisions

The R v London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, ex parte Burkett decision overturns the idea that judicial reviews need to challenge the council’s resolution to grant permission rather than waiting for the actual granting of permission.
The High and the Appeal Courts had held that the resolution to grant permission should be challenged, and the Burketts’ challenge, concerning a large development, was ruled out as too late. But the Lords has now decided that it is the granting of permission that should be challenged.
Lovells planning specialist Michael Gallimore said: “Planning lawyers will need to ensure that their developer clients are complying with all of the procedural requirements to head off the risk of challenge at that final step.”
The risk of challenge exists up until three months after the date on which the planning permission is issued.