If an appellant wins a planning appeal, and they feel they have been treated badly by the planning authority, then they can apply for an ‘award of costs’. This is, in effect, treated as a separate appeal by the planning inspector. So, you may win the appeal but lose the claim for costs, or you may win both.
Either way, it gives you a chance to ‘vent your spleen’ if you feel your case has been badly handled by the planners in your Local Planning Authority (LPA). Such claims can take ages to determine, and even longer to pay out. I was involved in an appeal in summer 2018 that has only just paid out the client £2,000 as a ‘partial award of costs’, where the planners had behaved appallingly.
In this case, we even had to submit a ‘Freedom of Information Request’ to obtain their agricultural consultant’s report – that actually helped our case! We were not that surprised when we eventually saw it, as we had realised they desperately did not want us to see it, but nevertheless seeing their case shot down by their own consultant did make for an interesting read.
While the award for costs in this case will not have covered all of our client’s extra expenses, they will have gone a long way towards recompensing him for the extra fees paid – if not for the extra stress caused.
For your planning issues and queries contact Charles at email@example.com or your local FCG Office.