Planning permission case highlights new public opinion trend30th Jan 2013
A recent case regarding the planning permissions relating to a high profile Dorset venue has highlighted a growing trend that may affect other venues in similar situations going forward. The proposed demolition of Druitt Hall in Christchurch, Dorset, has seen public opinion weigh heavily on proceedings.
James Cain, Planning Consultant at Dorset law firm, Coles Miller Solicitors, commented: “The Localism Act of 2011 now puts more emphasis on developers to ensure that there is adequate consultation with public and local interest groups. There is a general policy shift in the relatively new National Planning Policy Framework to give more power to locals in the decision making process.”
Mr Cain continued: “There seems to be a trend developing amongst members of Planning Committees that more weight is given to public opinion than was previously the case. By spending more time at the beginning of the planning process courting the views of locals, time can be saved later in the planning process, particularly in avoiding costly (time and money) planning appeals.”
Developers with project plans in their infancy are advised to seek legal assistance. A firm with experience of hosting public consultation exercises can quickly determine if objections from locals are going to be material planning considerations or otherwise.