A planning case in which the Lords ruled that Government policy on time limits should be referred to the Rul-es Committee is now due to be heard before the High Court
Government rules state that a challenge to a local authority's decision on a planning application should be "prompt or in any event within three months". But the Lords' decision in R v Hammersmith & Fulham London Borough Council, ex parte Burkett undermined that requirement. The Burkett challenge came seven months after the authority's decision. The Lords decision grants Robert Burkett (whose wife Sonia has since died) leave to pursue in the High Court the case for judicial review of the local authority's decision on environmental grounds. Richard Harwood, a planning barrister at 39 Essex Street who acted for the Burketts, said Lords Steyn and Hope were concerned over whether the 'prompt' response requirement breached the Human Rights Act and that the Rules Committee would consider the rule's correctness. Timothy Straker QC of 4-5 Gray's Inn Square has been instructed by the council.