Paper chase to the High Court

RED faced council legal chiefs are having to apply for a High Court judicial review to put right an in-house planning blunder - after a decision

RED faced council legal chiefs are having to apply for a High Court judicial review to put right an in-house planning blunder - after a decision notice was sent out on the wrong coloured paper.North Somerset Council is applying to the High Court in London for a judicial review in a bid to overturn a decision it made in error to allow an extension at a property at Sunnymede Road in Nailsea.Planning officers had actually refused the plans to demolish part of the property and build a two storey extension and one storey extension, but the incorrect decision notice was sent to the applicant.Under normal rules people who successfully apply for planning permission receive a green notice and those which get rejected receive a pink sheet.On this occasion, despite the plans being refused, the homeowner was sent a green notice.The mistake was picked up by staff at Nailsea Town Council who immediately reported the mistake to authority planners.After the case was looked into it was decided the only way to put the matter right and issue a fresh decision notice was to apply to the High Court for a judicial review where a judge in chambers will look at the case.In a report to the executive it said: "As a result of a clerical error made in connection with a document for the refusal of planning permission, the council issued an incorrect decision notice."The only way of rectifying this is to invoke the judicial review jurisdiction."Councillor Bob Cook is applying for the judicial review on behalf of North Somerset Council.The authority cannot apply itself as it is the defendant in the case.North Somerset Council spokesman Richard Turner said he was unable to say specifically how much the judicial review application would cost the authority.He added: "The application to the High Court costs £50 and on top of that there is our officer's time on the case."It is unlikely there will be a full hearing and the matter should be decided by a judge in chambers.


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