DMC decision on Newton Poppleford planning application fell foul of regulations.

16 Apr

Continuing from our earlier post on the subject, the legal situation and background to the case, are described in this note:

Dear SIN

The latest news from Newton Poppleford is that the decision to grant planning permission for 40 houses plus a doctor’ surgery at King Alfred Way (13/0316/MOUT) has been quashed following an application for judicial review. EDDC consented to this judgement on two grounds:

1) having incorrectly applied the criteria for their Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) screening opinion.
2) having sought the doctors’ surgery as a planning obligation despite it failing to comply with the three CIL tests of necessity, proportion and relevance.

You may remember that the surgery initially formed part of the negotiated s.106 agreement submitted with the application. Once it was pointed out that this is not allowed by law, the applicant instead offered (during the DMC meeting) a unilateral undertaking, even though that is equally subject to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) tests – officers ought to have known that and advised councillors accordingly. Having been put on the spot somewhat, the council decided to accept the offer and granted permission subject to the provision of the surgery being demonstrated, thereby seeking the surgery and falling foul of the CIL regulations!

Of particular concern is that EDDC had to be pushed all the way to an application for judicial review, at considerable expense, before acknowledging their error. Prior to this stage, the issue of the legality of the decision had been the subject of emails to planning staff, a formal complaint to the council, and a solicitors’ letter outlining the case. There were many opportunities to review the process, both before and after the issuing of the decision notice. At every step, EDDC haughtily insisted they were entirely correct in making this decision – until their bluff was called and they were formally challenged through the courts. Disappointingly, this has resulted in a considerable waste of taxpayers’ money.

The application (unmodified) is now due to be redetermined at the DMC meeting on 8th May. Representatives of the community will be in attendance to ensure that on this occasion councillors are made fully aware that the surgery cannot lawfully be taken into account in making a decision.

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2 Responses to “DMC decision on Newton Poppleford planning application fell foul of regulations.”

  1. Tim April 16, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    Am I alone in thinking that EDDC seem over keen to help anything proposed by Clinton Devon Estates? Nothing to do with CDE releasing the Exmouth seafront covenants to EDDC of course.

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