Court again declines to quash permission tainted by error of law

01 Jan 2018

Planning and Environment

The High Court has, in R(Hill) v Cornwall Council [2016] EWHC 1264 (Admin), declined to quash the grant of planning permission for a synthetic sports pitch at a school, even though the Court found that a condition securing the pitch for community use was unintelligible and the grant of permission consequently unlawful.

Notwithstanding the error of law, the Court declined to exercise its discretion to quash the permission and accepted the parties’ agreed position that nothing would be achieved by doing that. The Court instead adjourned the final formal giving of judgment pending an application by the interested party under section 96A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to amend the condition so as to make it intelligible. The decision is an interesting example of what appears to be an increasing willingness on the part of the Court to refrain from exercising its discretion to quash unlawful decisions in appropriate circumstances. Other examples of this practice are to be found in R (Nicholson) v Allerdale BC [2015] EWHC 2510 (Admin) and Hunt v North Somerset Council [2015] UKSC 51, [2015] 1 W.L.R. 3575).

Other grounds of challenge, including in relation to the consideration by the planning committee of the noise impact of the proposed development, were dismissed.

Jack Parker acted on behalf of Cornwall Council. For a copy of the Judgment, please click here.

For further information about this case, please contact Jack or the Cornerstone Clerks at