Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 01 Feb 2019
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: Mr X complains that the Council wrongly refused his planning applications for Listed Building Consent and subsequently imposed unreasonable conditions on an approval. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint because these were matters for the Planning Inspector.
- Mr X complains that the Council wrongly refused his planning applications for Listed Building Consent and subsequently imposed unreasonable conditions.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- The law says we cannot normally investigate a complaint when someone can appeal to a government minister. However, we may decide to investigate if we consider it would be unreasonable to expect the person to appeal. (Local Government Act 1974, section 26(6)(b))
- We cannot investigate a complaint if someone has appealed to a government minister. The Planning Inspector acts on behalf of a government minister. (Local Government Act 1974, section 26(6)(b), as amended)
- The Planning Inspector acts on behalf of the responsible Government minister. The Planning Inspector considers appeals about:
- delay – usually over eight weeks – by an authority in deciding an application for planning permission
- a decision to refuse planning permission
- conditions placed on planning permission
- a planning enforcement notice.
How I considered this complaint
- I have considered the complainant's comments and Mr X has commented on the draft decision.
What I found
- Mr X submitted a planning application for a rear extension to his property in July 2016 which was refused by the Council in September 2016. He appealed to a Planning Inspector and this was refused in February 2017.
- He subsequently submitted a new planning application for a similar development in June 2017 which was approved in February 2018.
- He is unhappy with the advice given by the Conservation Officer and says that the conditions imposed on the final approval were unreasonable.
- The Local Government Ombudsman would not investigate a complaint about a refusal of a planning application or the reasonableness of any conditions attached to a planning permission, as these could be appealed to a Planning Inspector. Further, any dispute about delay by a Council could also be appealed to a Planning Inspector.
- I see no reason why the right of appeal could not be exercised in this case.
- The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint. This is because there was a right of appeal to a Planning Inspector.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman