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Truro City Council v Cornwall Council [2013] EWHC 2525

The Administrative Court (Frances Patterson QC, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge) rejected a wide-ranging challenge by Truro CC against the grant of planning permission by Cornwall Council in relation to the construction of 'Truro Eastern District Centre' , a mixed-use development consisting of inter alia housing, a food centre, house waste and recycling facility and a park and ride.

The Claimant sought judicial review on six grounds: i) whether the grant of planning permission accorded with section 38(6) of the PCPA 2004; (ii) whether adequate reasons had been given; (iii) whether there has been a material change of circumstances between committee resolution and issue of decision; (iv) whether there had been a failure to consider relevant considerations; (v) whether the decision maker had properly understood and applied policy; and (vi) whether the decision was premature.
Although necessarily fact-specific, the judgment provides a useful examination, in particular, of the decision making process a local planning authority must adopt pursuant to section 38(6) and the adequacy of reasons they must provide for their decision. It also highlights the extent to which challenges to LPA's decisions to grant planning permission (and defences to those challenges) rely on the quality or otherwise of the Officer's report.

Jonathan Clay of Cornerstone Barristers acted for Cornwall Council