From Monday 1 July 2013, any application for judicial review in planning cases must be brought within six weeks of the date on which the grounds for making the application arose. Previously there was a three month period during which a claim could be made. The three month period will continue to apply in respect of claims for judicial review which have already been made, and applications in respect of planning decisions made prior to this date.
Judicial review is the process by which the High Court can review the lawfulness of an enactment or a decision, action, or failure to act, in relation to the exercise of a public function. In the planning context, an application for judicial review can be made where a third party disagrees with the grant of a planning permission.
There is a perception (which may be true) that the judicial review route has been used by objectors to delay the implementation of a planning permission. In any event, developers have been reluctant to begin work on a site with planning permission until the three month "risk" period has ended. It is hoped that the reduction in the time limit to six weeks will ensure that development can commence more quickly after the grant of planning permission, and that this will, in turn, encourage future investment and growth.
In addition to the change to the time limit, claimants will no longer be able to request that their application for judicial review be considered at a hearing if the court has recorded that their application is totally without merit.
These changes, coupled with the recent restrictions on rights to register land as a town or village green, are welcome relief for landowners and will hopefully enable them to proceed with developments with less interference from third parties.
This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at June 2013. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases; we cannot be held responsible for any action (or decision not to take action) made in reliance upon the content of this publication.
TLT LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England & Wales number OC 308658 whose registered office is at One Redcliff Street, Bristol BS1 6TP England. A list of members (all of whom are solicitors or lawyers) can be inspected by visiting the People section of this website. TLT LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 406297.