Planning related applications for judicial review
This article was created by The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC). It was written by Bob Kindred MBE, BA, MRTPI, IHBC and published in June 2013. You can see the original article on the IHBC website.
The Prime Minister indicated at the CBI in late 2011 that applications for judicial review on planning or infrastructure proposals were a ‘growth industry’; an impediment to economic recovery and that many applications were ‘hopeless’ and that it should be more expensive and difficult to apply for one. Overall there were 11,200 JR cases of all categories in 2011.
Frank Dobson MP (Lab) subsequently obtained more detailed figures from the Ministry of Justice about judicial reviews related to planning or infrastructure proposals in each year since 1998; how many applications were allowed to proceed to a hearing and how many were granted in a written answer to a parliamentary question on 26 November. These figures appear not to have found a wide audience.
The figures since 1998 relating to the category of ‘other’ cases (i.e. other than immigration/asylum and criminal cases) relating to planning were:
The number of planning cases is trivial, representing only about 7% or 8% (9% at most, in some years). As a proportion of all JR applications, planning-related JR applications account for less than 2% of the overall total.
No clear conclusions can be drawn about any upward trend in the number of applications as these have fluctuated over 14 years, for example.
|2002||(down 16% on 2001)|
|2004||(down 2% on 2003, & still down 2% on 2001)|
|2009||(down 10% on 2008)|
|2010||(down 10% on 2009, & down 20% on 2008)|
Although the 191 planning-related JR applications in 2011 appear to represent a sharp increase over 2010, the figures for 2012 might again be lower. Nevertheless, overall the numbers are still very small.
In relation to an alleged increase rise in ‘hopeless’ JR applications, those which were allowed to proceed were:
|– 51||– 56||– 68||– 63||– 47||– 54||– 49|
|(= 46%)||(= 48%)||(= 56%)||(= 44%)||(= 39%)||(= 44%)||(= 41%)|
|– 44||– 50||– 51||– 67||– 64||– 46||– 61|
|(= 31%)||(= 35%)||(= 34%)||(= 36%)||(= 39%)||(= 31%)||(= 32%)|
(the figure in brackets is the percentage of total planning-related JR cases per year).
In most years, at least a third of planning-related JR applications were given permission to proceed, a much higher proportion than the average for other types. No trends about allegedly ‘hopeless’ cases frustrating development proposals are evident (and there is an already effective vetting process to reject unarguable cases).
The success rate of cases, ie where planning-related JR applications were granted, were as follows:
|– 10||– 19||– 29||– 17||– 12||– 11||– 10|
|(= 20%)||(= 34%)||(= 43%)||(= 27%)||(= 26%)||(= 20%)||(= 20%)|
|– 11||– 7||– 17||– 14||– 15||– 17||– 6|
|(= 25%)||(= 14%)||(= 33%)||(= 21%)||(= 23%)||(= 37%)||(= 10%)|
Again, no discernible trend is evident and each case must have been arguable or it would not have been given permission to proceed.
One final point is that the Prime Minister considers it should be made more expensive to apply for judicial review, however this could be in breach of Aarhus Convention  and it was precisely in order to ensure compliance with the Convention that the Ministry of Justice put forward proposals to limit the costs in environment-related judicial review cases.
 The Aarhus Convention is a multilateral environmental agreement which came into force on 30 October 2001 through which the opportunities for citizens to access environmental information are increased and transparent and reliable regulation procedure is secured.
This is one of a series of occasional IHBC Research Notes published by The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC). The Notes necessarily reflect knowledge and practice at the time they were developed, while the IHBC always welcomes new case examples, feedback and comment to ihbc.org.uk [email protected]ihbc.org.uk for future revisions and updates.
--Institute of Historic Building Conservation 10:00, 15 Jun 2016 (BST)
Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have been used to undertake a survey of the Lloyd’s building’s external façade in the heart of the City of London.
The petition calls on the government to remove VAT on refurbishment projects and raise VAT on non-Passivhaus new-build construction to 20 per cent. Retrofitting is carbon-efficient but the current VAT regime privileges new build over refurbishment.
Directors of the IHBC and the Victorian Society are among those whose opinions are featured in the RICS in-house publication Modus as it explores heritage impacts in England’s planning proposals.
Glasgow City Heritage Trust (GCHT) 3-day online conference aimed at anyone working, or interested in working, within the building and heritage sectors.
One way in which these old rigs can be remarkably useful is that the subsurface rig can provide the ideal skeleton for coral reefs, allowing the remarkable ecosystems beneath the waves come into their own.
A new company – Birnbeck Holdings Limited – has now been set up by CNM Estates which has purchased Birnbeck Island and the historic pier.
The publication offers research to help answer the question: ‘How can the heritage sector adapt and thrive in the digital age’?
A stunning Victorian Bath House has been uncovered during works on creating the city’s first public park in over 100 years.
The Inquiry is into ‘21st Century Places – Values & Benefits‘
The awards showcase the very best historic places and cultural sites from across the globe.