Planning Appeal Costs: Recover or Dispute Legal Costs
What is a planning appeal?
A planning appeal is a process by which an individual or organisation can challenge a decision made by a local council or other planning authority regarding a planning application. Planning appeals are typically used when an application for planning permission, such as for building a new development, is refused, or when an application is granted but with conditions that the applicant believes are unfair or unreasonable.
Planning appeal costs
In general, costs in planning appeals in England are not recoverable, meaning that the losing party does not have to pay the legal costs of the winning party. This is because planning appeals are considered to be a public process, and the aim is for decisions to be made based on the merits of the case, rather than on the financial resources of the parties involved.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. The Planning Inspectorate has the power to award costs in certain circumstances, such as where a party behaves unreasonably or causes unnecessary expense during the appeal process. Additionally, if the appellant is granted permission and the developer has already begun work on the development the local council may be ordered to pay the costs of the appeal.
It’s important to note that the decision to award costs is at the discretion of the Planning Inspectorate, and that the costs awarded are usually limited to the actual expenses incurred by the successful party, rather than to any legal fees.
The deadline for claiming costs will be determined by whether your appeal is in writing, or at a hearing or inquiry.
Planning appeal costs: The Detailed Assessment process
If you are successful in your costs application, for example, if you have been awarded costs for unreasonable behaviour, you will be required to make your costs claim using the process of detailed assessment.
Detailed assessment is a process by which the parties and the court review and evaluate the costs incurred by a party in a legal case, in order to determine the amount that should be paid by the losing party to the winning party. The process is typically used in civil cases, but can also be used in other cases under certain circumstances.
The process usually starts with the party who incurred the costs (the receiving party) submitting a bill of costs, which itemises all of the costs they have incurred in relation to the case. The bill of costs should be accompanied by a Notice of Commencement and relevant documentation, such as receipts, invoices, and time records. The other party (the paying party) then has the opportunity to challenge the bill of costs, by raising points of dispute.
The receiving party should attempt to reach an agreement with the other party before proceeding to a Detailed Assessment hearing.
Once the bill of costs has been submitted and any points of dispute have been raised, the court will conduct a detailed assessment to determine the amount of costs that should be paid. This assessment is typically carried out by a costs judge, who will review all of the evidence submitted by both parties, and make a determination based on the relevant laws and guidelines.
During the detailed assessment, the court will consider factors such as the reasonableness of the costs incurred, the complexity of the case, and the conduct of the parties. The court will also consider any points of dispute raised by the paying party, and may make adjustments to the bill of costs accordingly.
Once the detailed assessment is complete, the court will issue a costs order, which sets out the amount of costs that the paying party must pay to the receiving party. If either party is dissatisfied with the outcome of the detailed assessment, they may be able to appeal the costs order to a higher court.
How can Greener Costs assist?
Our team of Costs Lawyers and Costs Draftsmen have many years of experience surrounding planning appeal costs, including costs drafting and negotiation. We are able to assist clients from all backgrounds on a range of cases, whether you are the paying party of receiving party. We can help your case from the start of your dispute and can see it through all the way to representation at detailed assessment hearings and high court cases.
Greener Costs is the UK’s first net positive legal costs company, and our aim is to assist your law farm in costs services whilst also helping you become more carbon neutral. Our operations are fully paperless, and we commit to planting 25 trees per instruction. At the end of the year, we will send you a report detailing how much of your emissions have been offset by instructing our team.
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