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Local planning authorities do have the power to delay prior approval
4 March 2020

An earlier High Court judgement in Warren Farm (Wokingham) Limited v Wokingham Borough Council [2019] EWHC 2007 (Admin) issued on 31st July 2019, which held that local planning authorities do not have the power to delay prior approval for barn conversions, has recently been set aside in the case of Gluck v SSHCLG [2020] EWHC 161 (Admin) 2020  which was handed down on 31st  January 2020.

In the Wokingham case, the Council had agreed an extension of time with the applicant to determine the application before refusing it but the judge concluded that there was no provision in the General Permitted Development Order for agreeing such an extension of time. However, in the latest case, the Secretary of State successfully argued against this judgement in the High Court, submitting that the decision was incorrect and should not be followed.

The wider implication of this judgement is that an extension of time can be agreed by both parties in all cases where prior approval is sought and is not just limited to barn conversions. To avoid any confusion in the future, it is recommended that such an agreement should be in writing.

If you would like more information on the above or would like to find out how our Planning & Development team can help you please contact Andrew, Abel or Alice.

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