Planning costs

23 Jan 2014
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United Kingdom

Advice needed please

We recently lost a planning appeal and the inspector awarded the council the costs.

We queried the costs because the council used an external, expensive consultant to defend the appeal.

During the ongoing correspondence, negotiating this amount we lodged a new separate planning application. This application was for the same site yet it was however separate to the application and appeal that was refused.

The LPA refused to register the application as valid becuase we hadn't settled the award of costs, albeit we were in the middle of challenging and negotiating the amount in question. The DCO sent an emial to myself saying that he would only validate the new application if we settled the outstanding costs.

I would like to know whether such a request could constitute as blackmail? I had no choice but to pay the costs in order to continue my plan for the site. I was within my right to challenge the amount in question however this was robbed from me.

Any advice?
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sounds like you could more with advice of a planning solicitor than an internet forum, though you may find some assistance on a forum geared more toward law than permission.. essentially the question is, is it legal for the council to refuse to entertain a new planning application because you owe them money for a previous one?
I'm pretty certain what the lpa done was illegal. Even without knowing the full details of the circumstances, each application is validated on a set of criteria, Payment of some other application is not one of those tick boxes.

Unfortunately though, you've done the deal so you don't really have too much recourse now. It will be much more difficult for you to try get your money back and explain why you payed. It would have been much easier if you had taken the car to the planning inspectorate because the lpa refused to validate a valid application.

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