Every development proposal is ‘unique’. However, planning decisions must be taken in accordance with the local and national plans. Ministerial Statements and case law have also to be considered. It is often important to consider the decisions made in similar cases to the one you are researching, and a good place to find pertainant decisions and Planning Inspectors Reports is to:

SEARCH PLANNING APPEAL DECISIONS

(Use simple search terms e.g. ‘solar’ – ‘wind turbine’ ‘housing’ and under Organisation select (for example) Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

To Appeal, search for or comment on a planning decision or notice:

THE PLANNING INSPECTORATE

How must decisions on applications for planning permission be made?

To the extent that development plan policies are material to an application for planning permission the decision must be taken in accordance with the development plan unless there are material considerations that indicate otherwise (see section 70(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 – these provisions also apply to appeals).

The National Planning Policy Framework stresses the importance of having a planning system that is genuinely plan-led. Where a proposal accords with an up-to-date development plan it should be approved without delay, as required by the presumption in favour of sustainable development at paragraph 14 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Where the development plan is absent, silent or the relevant policies are out of date, paragraph 14 of the National Planning Policy Framework requires the application to be determined in accordance with the presumption in favour of sustainable development unless otherwise specified.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

What weight can be given to a material consideration?

The law makes a clear distinction between the question of whether something is a material consideration and the weight which it is to be given. Whether a particular consideration is material will depend on the circumstances of the case and is ultimately a decision for the courts. Provided it has regard to all material considerations, it is for the decision maker to decide what weight is to be give to the material considerations in each case, and (subject to the test of reasonableness) the courts will not get involved in the question of weight.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

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