What type of behaviour may give rise to a procedural award against a local planning authority?

Local planning authorities are required to behave reasonably in relation to procedural matters at the appeal, for example by complying with the requirements and deadlines of the process. Examples of unreasonable behaviour which may result in an award of costs include:

  • lack of co-operation with the other party or parties
  • delay in providing information or other failure to adhere to deadlines
  • only supplying relevant information at appeal when it was previously requested, but not provided, at application stage
  • not agreeing a statement of common ground in a timely manner or not agreeing factual matters common to witnesses of both principal parties
  • introducing fresh and substantial evidence at a late stage necessitating an adjournment, or extra expense for preparatory work that would not otherwise have arisen
  • prolonging the proceedings by introducing a new reason for refusal
  • withdrawal of any reason for refusal or reason for issuing an enforcement notice
  • failing to provide relevant information within statutory time limits, resulting in an enforcement notice being quashed without the issues on appeal being determined
  • failing to attend or to be represented at a site visit, hearing or inquiry without good reason
  • withdrawing an enforcement notice without good reason
  • providing information that is shown to be manifestly inaccurate or untrue
  • deliberately concealing relevant evidence at planning application stage or at subsequent appeal
  • failing to notify the public of an inquiry or hearing, where this leads to the need for an adjournment