Estelle Dehon KC and Nina Pindham argue leading case on inquisitorial duties in s.62A hearings

11 Jun 2024

Planning and Environment, Public Law and Judicial Review

Estelle Dehon KC and Nina Pindham are appearing today and tomorrow before Holgate J concerning a challenge by Weston Homes to a decision of the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities under s.62A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Section 62A allows applicants to apply directly to the Secretary of State for determination of their planning applications where the local planning authority has been designated for special measures. The challenge pursued by Weston Homes includes an argument that the Inspector in the s.62A hearing did not sufficiently discharge his inquisitorial duties. As there is no case law on the nature of the inquisitorial duty on inspectors hearing s.62A applications, this will be the leading case on the nature of the duty in such applications.

Presently, a hearing held under s.62A provides only the opportunity for the appointed inspector to seek clarity on certain issues and does not provide the opportunity for cross-examination.

Estelle and Nina both act for the Secretary of State in this matter.