QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
sitting as a Judge of the High Court
| Provectus Remediation Limited
Derbyshire County Council
Hashi Mohamed (instructed by the Solicitor to the Council) for the Defendant
Hearing date: 3 May 2018
Crown Copyright ©
Sir Wyn Williams:
"(1) Subject to paragraph (2), any fee paid by an applicant in respect of an application for planning permission, or permission in principle or for the approval of reserved matters shall be refunded to the applicant in the event that the local planning authority fail to determine the application within 26 weeks of the date when a valid application was received by the local authority
(2) Paragraph 1 does not apply where
(a) the applicant and the local planning authority . have agreed in writing that the application is to be determined within an extended period;
(b) the Secretary of State gives a direction under section 77 of the 1990 Act in relation to the application before the period mentioned in paragraph (1) has expired;
(c) the applicant has appealed to the Secretary of State under section 78(2) of the 1990 Act before the period mentioned in paragraph (1) has expired; or
(d) any person who is aggrieved by any decision of the local planning authority or the Secretary of State in relation to the application has made an application to the High Court before the period mentioned in paragraph (1) has expired."
"[Reg.9A] brings into effect a measure to underpin the planning guarantee, and provides that the planning application fee must be refunded to the applicant where the planning application is not determined within 26 weeks from the date when a valid application is made. [Reg.9A] provides that where . There is a written agreement to extend the period for determination, the requirement to refund a fee will not apply "
"7.1 Timely decisions on planning applications give applicants the confidence to submit planning applications for development, give businesses the confidence to invest, and give greater certainty for communities.
7.2 The Government is committed to ensuring that planning applications and related consents are processed promptly. The 'Plan for Growth' (March 2011) announced the planning guarantee to underpin this commitment. The planning guarantee means that planning applications should not spend more than 12 months in total with decision-making bodies, including any time at appeal. In practice the guarantee means that cases should spend no more than 26 weeks with either the local planning authority or, in the case of appeals, the Planning Inspectorate.
7.4 It is recognised that some applications need more than the statutory time period to be determined, and may occasionally require more time than the planning guarantee allows for, especially where the issues are particularly complex. In these circumstances the National Planning Policy Framework encourages the use of planning performance agreements. These involve a bespoke timetable agreed between the authority and the applicant where it is clear at the pre-application stage that more time than the statutory period will be required to reach a decision. Similarly, applicants and authorities may enter into a post-application agreement to extend the time period for determination, where it becomes clear that more time is needed to decide the application."