Q: An application was filed following pre-submission discussions. The officer's report recommended that permission should be granted, but the committee decided to refuse it. On appeal, how much weight do officers' reports carry with inspectors, and to what extent are inspectors bound to take them into account? How far can inspectors' decisions override the issues of local knowledge and consistency of policy application that can be imputed to officers' recommendations? In short, should inspectors follow officers' advice? If not, for what reason can they deviate from it? GN

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