Lost Planning Appeal Costs
Property consultants Daniel Watney sent out freedom of information (FOI) requests to the 418 principal local authorities of the UK, asking for details of the costs awarded from appeal proceedings between financial years 2010/11 and 2015/16. Of the 217 councils who responded, 178 had paid out a sum over the past six years, with the overall bill across those councils who responded coming to £11,965,077.
Costs may be awarded where either: a party has behaved unreasonably; and/ or the unreasonable behaviour has directly caused another party to incur unnecessary or wasted expense in the appeal process.
According to the research, Cornwall Council paid out the highest total sum during the period at £981,332. Halton Borough Council paid out the highest average sum, with £360,735 being paid per lost appeal.
With a response of just over 51%, this research only goes to highlight the degree of money that is awarded to appellants at appeals.
Cheshire East Council has been accused of wasting taxpayers’ money by spending £1.28m fighting planning appeals in 2014/15. The figure emerged following a FOI request by Insider. The request also revealed that 120 planning refusals by Cheshire East Council have been appealed by the applicant that same year – a rate of ten per month.
The findings raise concerns over council finances, with appeal costs typically being taken from the local planning authority budget.