Q: An application was submitted by a tenant of the premises involved. A new owner then bought the property and lodged an appeal against refusal of the application. Section 78(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 states that only "the applicant" may appeal. I can find no legislative provision that allows the transfer of appeal rights. Is there scope for judicial review here? CN

A: There does not seem to be anything in primary or secondary legislation covering this point, as all the relevant references are to the "applicant". The Planning Inspectorate's guidance note Making Planning Appeals says only the original applicant can appeal and all appeals must bear the original applicant's name. It says that if you are not the original applicant you must get their written permission and explains how to include your details on the appeal form. In the event of any legal challenge, my feeling is that the High Court would see the position you describe as similar to the common situation in which appeals are lodged by an agent in the applicant's name and would dismiss any judicial review application as pettifogging. However, in one case involving an appellant who had recently purchased the property in question, the inspectorate required sight of the original applicant's written authority. When a professional agent appeals, there is no such check. Paul Barkley


Next Questions

A householder wants to add 10cm-thick external wall insulation to the first floor rear elevation of a terraced dwellinghouse that is not in a conservation area. I would like to say this does not require permission, but the General Permitted Development Order 1995 as amended does not cover such situations well. Have you any interpretations that might stop me from having to add to the argument that the planning system is an obstacle to sustainable development? JD

Can a farmer who allows tenants to use his land as allotments build sheds for them under agricultural permitted development rights, on the basis that lease of the allotments would form part of the farm business? Would it make a difference if the farmer was not charging the allotment holders rent? If a farmer puts up a building under agricultural permitted development rights prior to turning some of his land into allotments, would permission be required for the allotment holders to use the building for storing tools and other equipment? If so, would the farmer need to use the building for any specific period before allowing its use by the allotment holders? PB

Do you have an answer to these questions? If so, please email it to Forum editor John Harrison at by 22 December. We also welcome your queries, which can be emailed to the same address.


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