Property update — November–December 2013: planning

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Protective costs orders (PCOs) are a mechanism whereby the court can impose a limit on the actual or potential costs liability of a party. They are available in judicial review and statutory challenge proceedings, where a case before the courts is held to involve issues of general public importance and the public interest requires that the issue is resolved.

In R (Venn) v Secretary of State of Communities and Local Government and others [2013], Ms Venn (V) sought a PCO in relation to a challenge she wanted to bring against the grant of planning permission (granted only on appeal) for the construction of a house in the grounds of her next-door neighbour’s property.

The grounds of V’s appeal were based on the planning inspector’s alleged failure to take account of various local and national planning policies, including one relating to a restriction on development within private gardens. V therefore argued that her claim had the benefit of the Aarhus Convention because environmental issues were involved…

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