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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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the local senior planning officer has made a statement that

Resolved Question:

the local senior planning officer has made a statement that the proposed development "accords with strategic planning policy". This conclusion is a blatent misrepresentation of the councils policies on the proposed development site.It is as bad as if someone gathers data on the colour of post boxes and then concludes they are all blue. I dont want you to comment on this particular case but i would like to know whether there is any avenue in law i could persue when a local official has totally misrepresented published facts and data.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

What loss, if any have you suffered please?

Customer:

we know that the ridiculous and misleading statement that "the development scheme accords with council policies "will be the one given to the development committee. our objection to the development is based primarily on the policy staements of the council that the site is undevelopable. if the committee accept the 'ridiculous statement' that the devlopment accords with councils strategic planning policy then we could be in grave danger of losing our battle to stop the development. so we would have masses to lose.Alex,we need to get the services of a lawyer, would you be prepared to help us by writing two letters.one to inform the developer we will seek injunctive relief should planning permission be approved.secondly we need to inform him that we are going to enforce our restrictive coveanant on the land. i am custodean ? of a collective pot of money so i have to be careful how i spend it. would you be able to give some idea of costs of writing the letters up front.?would it be impertanent of me to ask your hourly rate should we need further help.

Alex Watts :

Before we continue I should perhaps clarify the remit of this site.

Alex Watts :

This is a question and answer site - we can not do work or be instructed. I can tell you what to do and offer advice but can't go beyond that. Is that ok?

Customer:

yes

Alex Watts : Ok. How is it I can help you today, what is it you would like to know?
Customer:

can you read my original question

Alex Watts : You want to know whether there is an avenue in law, is that right?
Alex Watts : If so perhaps you can summarise what losses you have suffered as a result.
Alex Watts : You don't believe the planning application should have been approved, is that right?
Customer:

i think we will terminate this discussion you dont seem to understand the stuff i have written i dont wish to pay for this as i am not satisfied

Customer:

have you actually read my question

Alex Watts : Yes I have. The planning officer has made an incorrect statement. You say it contradicts council policy.
Alex Watts : You want to know whether you have any legal recourse in law because of this.
Alex Watts : You have a restrictive covenant although I do not know what it says,
Alex Watts : Is this a fair summary of what you have said?
Alex Watts : I do wish to help you but need to understand exactly the position so I can properly provide information.
Customer:

The planning officer has made an incorrect statement. You say it contradicts council policy.

Customer:

The planning officer has made a statement that" the planning application accords with the council's planning policy". We can demonstrate that this is not true. for example one policy concludes that the site is "undevelopable". He has not mentioned this policy in his statement. If his statement remains on the web site, we could lose our battle to stop the development. [don’t worry about the covenant]


We want to know whether we have any legal recourse in law to stop him misrepresenting the council's policies for the land and thus adversely influencing the planning committees decision as to whether planning permission should be granted.

Alex Watts :

You can take several routes, but it must be in this order:

Alex Watts :

1) You can complain to the Chief Officers office at the Council. They will have a department that deals with corporate complaints and will have a procedure.

Alex Watts :

You need to allow that department to investigate

Alex Watts :

2) If you are not happy with that outcome then you can complain to the Ombudsman. They will have expected you to do step 1) first. They offer a free independent service and can investigate your complaint.

Alex Watts :

Their website is: www.lgo.org.uk

Alex Watts :

3) If the Council make a decision based on incorrect information you can seek a Judicial Review.

Alex Watts :

This is where a senior Court in the High Court examines the decision made by the Council and sees whether that decision is reasonable and legal.

Alex Watts :

The High Court Judge can agree with the decision or remit it back for further consideration

Alex Watts :

So yes you can take action but you must follow the route above.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

thanks for this.it gives me a clear pathway to explore

Alex Watts :

Thank you. I am glad to have helped.

Alex Watts :

But it was important of me to have gotten all the information before giving you an answer as it could have been different

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question might I invite you to rate my answer.

Alex Watts :

If the system wont let you please do say

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Customer:

can you clarify. when you say that department i presume you mean the hastings plannining department. Can i go to the ombudsman before the council make a decision or would it be after they have made a decision?

Alex Watts :

The Department is the Chief Officers department. They will investgate.

Alex Watts :

You can't go to the Ombudsman until the Council have given you a final response.

Alex Watts :

Otherwise the Ombudsman won't investigate.

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify matters?

Customer:

it does but what is the chief officers department is that person in the planning department at hastings or some independent body

Alex Watts :

You have the chief officer who is in charge of the Council

Alex Watts :

Their department deals with complaints and the management of the council

Alex Watts :

That is what the departments function is

Customer:

thanksyou have helped a lot. how do i confirm my payment to you?

Alex Watts :

If you rate my answer Ok, Good or Excellent then this completes the transaction

Alex Watts :

Thank you for your time and I am pleased I have been able to help you

Ash and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you