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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I and others have visited Town Hall a few times to check that

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I and others have visited Town Hall a few times to check that a controversial local planning application for a neighbouring house extension has been dropped, the clerk has looked it up and confirmed no live application exists. In the same building a planning officer has processed an application, had it granted, and applicant advised. Opportunity for objectors was non-existent because they were told there was nothing to object to. Is the application valid?
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience. May I ask if planning notices were erected and displayed in respect of the planning application please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

One notice advising that there was an application - without any detail - was briefly on a lamp post in the road - which led me to the Council office for further info - to be told there was no application on the computer record for me to see, - still the position this Monday, long after the application grant had been given.

I sincerely ***** ***** the delay in reverting to you - I have been in a meeting which overran. THe council is required to have a policy for planning application notification which depending on the scale of development proposed prescribes that either a notice of the application will be sufficient alone or that in addition the council must notify concerned housholders which usually are at a minimum adjoining neighbours. It is worth asking the council for a copy of this policy in order that you can check that the council followed their policy correctly. if you find it didn't, this is another cause for complaint. If you do not find the Council breached their above notification policy, then from what you say, you still have a complaint available to you and that you were incorrectly informed that there was no pending application when in fact there was and as such, you were denied your right to enter an objection. There may be a question of evidencing what you say if the only basis for this is your verbal conversation with a coucil clerk, however assuming you are able to show this on the balance of probability, this would point towards maladministration on the part of the council. If you do find maladministration, there is the question of what you do about it. The difficulty with planning applications once they are granted is that there is no right of appeal as such available to you to challenge them. Even an incorrectly issued planning application will normally be legally enforceable by the benefiting landowner. this can leave you in a frustrating position. There are two avenues available to you in this situation: the first is an application for judicial review. The only way in which a planning application permission can be overturned is by a judge following a review of the council process where it finds that the council has failed to follow statutory procedure. The difficulty with judicial review is the cost and unfortunately, unless you have deep pockets, this application process will be disproportionately expensive as typical applications even for straightforward matters will range in the order of £10,000. If you are able to afford this level of costs, then application for judicial review is available to you but in practice, for many it is not. If you have a substantial number of other concerned neighbours, many individuals come together to share the cost of judicial review in such situations and of course if you are successful, you can seek to reclaim at least some of your costs from the council. If the above is not an option due to the costs, the alternative approaches to make a complaint to the local authority ombudsman. The ombudsman does not have power to overturn the council's decision which in this sense makes it an inferior process to that of judicial review but can make recommendations to the council where it finds maladministration and request that the council pays you compensation where it finds that you have suffered from concil maladministration. the councils are not legally obliged to follow the ombudsman's decision, in practice they usually do; the process is free so in this sense there is little to lose. before you make a complaint using the ombudsman service, it is necessary to follow the council's internal complaints process first but having done so, if you are not satisfied with the council's response, you can refer your complaint to the ombudsman using the following link: I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
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