Goliath has been slain.
Mr Tim Steer, who took Shepway District Council (SDC) to the High Court regarding a Judicial Review of Little Densole Farm has won his case. Mr Steer said that it is a bitter sweet win as Justice Lang took “a broad approach” to costs, and considered “that the Defendant’s (SDC & Ors) liability for costs ought to be reduced to 65% of the costs limit of £35,000.
All we can say is even with that bitter sting in the tail, a big well done to Mr Steer, a win is a win, congratulations, Goliath can be slain.
The case was between The Queen on the Application Timothy Steer v Shepway District Council, David Westgarth & Lucy Westgarth. The case no is CO/3051/2017. Shepway District Council and the Westgarths have been refused permission to appeal.
Mr Justice Lang’s reasons for his decisions are as follows:
“I do not consider that the Defendant has a real prospect on appeal, for the reasons I have set out in my Judgment. Nor is the some other compelling reason why the appeal should be heard.”
Justice Lang goes onto say:
“As recently as Dec 2017, the Supreme Court in Dover District Council v CPRE Kent UKSC 79 considered, and to some extent re-cast, the common law duty on local planning authorities to give reasons for granting permission. Prior to that decision, the provision of reasons by local planning authorities was much more limited in practice, following the repeal of the statutory duty to give reasons for a grant of planning permission. This committee’s decision pre-dates the CPRE Kent case. The committee disagreed with the advice given in the officers report. The only reasons which the Committee gave were in the minutes (there is a separate statutory duty to record minutes). I consider that the reasons given in the case fell well short of the standard required (as identified by the Supreme Court) and demonstrably prejudice the Claimant (Mr Steer) since it was impossible to ascertain the committee’s reasons on the main issues.”
It will take a while to read the judgment, as soon as we have, we will post it and comments about it in another update.
The Shepwayvox Team