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Costs Decision - allowed | Appeal | PA22/04876 | Retrospective planning removal existing outbuilding and shed, replacement

Costs Decision

Site visit made on 7 February 2023
by Paul Griffiths BSc(Hons) BArch IHBC

an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Decision date: 27th February 2023


Costs applicatoin in relation to Appeal Ref: APP/D0840/W/22/3305653
12 Back Lane, Angarrack, Hayle TR27 5JE

• The appeal is made under section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990
against a refusal to grant planning permission.
• The application is made by Cornwall Council for a partial award of costs against Mr Nat
Lloyd.
• The appeal was in connection with the refusal of planning permission for what was
described as ‘the removal of an existing outbuilding and shed; new outbuilding’.




    Decision

  1. The application for an award of costs is allowed in the terms set out below.

  2. Reasons


  3. Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) tells us that where a party has behaved
    unreasonably, and this has directly caused another party to incur unnecessary
    or wasted expense in the appeal process, they may be subject to an award of
    costs. Examples of unreasonable behaviour by an appellant that may lead to a
    procedural award of costs include only supplying relevant information at appeal
    when it was requested, but not provided, at application stage; and introducing
    fresh and substantial evidence at a late stage necessitating an adjournment, or
    extra expense for preparatory work, that would not otherwise have arisen.

  4. Linked to that, for reasons that I come too below, an appellant is at risk of an
    award of costs being made against them if the appeal, or ground of appeal, had
    no reasonable prospect of succeeding.

  5. As I have noted in my parallel appeal decision, work on the new outbuilding
    commenced before the application for planning permission was made. The
    Council dealt with the application on the basis that the proposal involved
    ‘retrospective planning permission for the removal of existing outbuilding and
    shed, and replacement outbuilding and parking space’. There is nothing wrong
    in principle with making an application for planning permission for development
    that has already taken place or commenced.

  6. However, in dealing with the application before it, the Council made plain that
    because of the nature of the outbuilding, and the parking space above, it would
    require details to show that the structure was adequate to support the loads
    involved, and that it would not place undue strain on the existing retaining
    structure it is set against. Those details were not forthcoming during the
    application process and the Council refused planning permission because of
    concerns about structural stability, amongst other things.

  7. An appeal was then lodged but the documentation submitted with that appeal
    did not include proper structural details. These details were only submitted on
    behalf of the appellant after the appeal had been lodged. This late material was
    accepted by the Planning Inspectorate in the interests of fairness, and I have
    considered it in dealing with the appeal.

  8. Nevertheless, I consider this to be unreasonable behaviour for a number of
    reasons. First, this information, which is clearly of fundamental importance, has
    only been provided at appeal stage, when it could and should have been
    submitted earlier. Moreover, in presenting this information at appeal stage, the
    appellant has involved the Council in work analysing the information, in the
    course of dealing with the appeal.

  9. This unreasonable behaviour on the part of the appellant has therefore resulted
    in the Council incurring unnecessary expense in the appeals process, as
    described in the PPG. A partial award of costs is therefore justified.

  10. I would also observe that lacking the necessary structural information, the
    appeal, as submitted, had no reasonable prospect of success. On top of that, as
    I observe in my parallel appeal decision, the structural information that was
    eventually submitted suggests that the outbuilding that has been built, and
    which the appellant sought to retain through the original application for
    planning permission, would need to be largely rebuilt to perform in a
    structurally acceptable manner. While that might be possible to achieve
    through the judicious use of conditions attached to any grant of planning
    permission, it does serve to underline the unreasonableness of the appellant’s
    position on this matter.

    Costs Order

  11. In exercise of the powers under section 250(5) of the Local Government Act
    1972 and Schedule 6 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended,
    and all other enabling powers in that behalf, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Mr
    Nat Lloyd shall pay to Cornwall Council, the costs of the appeal proceedings
    described in the heading of this decision limited to those involved in dealing
    with the third reason for refusal relating to structural matters; such costs to be
    assessed in the Senior Courts Costs Office if not agreed.

  12. The applicant is now invited to submit to Mr Nat Lloyd, to whom a copy of this
    decision has been sent, details of those costs with a view to reaching
    agreement as to the amount.

Paul Griffiths

INSPECTOR

 

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