Thursday, September 15, 2016

Planning proposal for a Visitor Centre at Spurn to be resubmitted.

News has been released that the YWT Ltd is to resubmit its planning proposal for a Visitor Centre at Spurn following the rejection of the original version by the East Yorks Planning Committee.  The updated details had not been received by the Local Authority when I inquired recently , but are clearly imminent.  This is an interesting development as , instead of being examined by an appointed Planning Inspector, the details could  again be considered by the Planning Committee , ( but see the caveats below ).  One imagines that the previous decision by that Committee has been accepted ( otherwise the process would have gone to appeal ) resulting in a modified application now having been constructed for their further consideration. Given that the Committee's grounds for refusal were based on visual intrusion and perceived problems relating to flood risk, subject areas that require some serious "accomodation" in terms of provision, then the revised application promises to be interesting to say the least !

    Now the mast shown on the above suggested illustration has already been removed from the application but one might imagine Phase 2 of the proposal might also look decidedly different. Why ?   Well, I'm afraid it's necessary to refer to the Town and Country Planning Act (1990 ) and some subsequent revisions.  That sounds daunting, but it is written in quite "straightforward " English  ( as opposed to some legal documents ) and, furthermore, there has been a number of useful revisions on this subject area in recent years.

Basically, the following points are those which, in my view, are the most important.  I've paraphrased the sections but I don't believe I've distorted the meaning in any way.

  • an application can be made for a development which has already been refused
  • however, in declining to determine such an application an Authority must be of the view that there has been no significant change in the development plan since the application was previously refused or dismissed.
  • Section 70A (8) TCP Act (1990) defines a planning application as being "similar" if it thinks that the development and land to which the application relates is the same or substantially the same.
  • when an application is thought to be "similar" the Local Authority is not automatically obliged to determine the application.  ( the purpose of this power is to inhibit the use of repeat applications that the Authority believes, over time, carries an intention to "wear down " opposition to proposed development. ) . Such powers are equally designed to give the Authority discretion to consider "repeat" applications where it is satisfied a genuine attempt has been made to overcome the planning objections.
  • an applicant has no right of appeal against a decision not to determine an application.  

So this would seem to be where things are at at present !  The resubmitted application needs to be materially different to the original , or it can be refused determination, and there is no appeal against the subsequent decision ( although it could be taken to Judicial Review.....expensive I should think ! ).

Clearly a view can't be taken of  " let's have another tilt at a planning application" as various conditions have to be satisfied and relying on nuisance value simply results in the matter not being determined with no right of appeal.  Does this mean that the YWT Ltd will have altered significantly its original proposal ? Well, I should think at least it ought to have done or otherwise run the risk of the matter being rejected out of hand. How many tilts at the process are tolerated is not specified, but given time constraints apply to the submission of applications, its not a system that extends never ending patience to people !!

As the process appears to be conducted along similar lines to previously I would guess all local stakeholders and objectors will be notified by the Local Authority in due course once they themselves have received details. Watch this space and be prepared, if you submitted a written objection, to consider doing so again as, of course, we may be looking at amended details !

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