Full costs award against Council for departing from pre-application advice


On 16th July 2019, an Inspector allowed an appeal by Blackhorse Residential against a refusal of Central Bedfordshire Council for a residential scheme in Shefford. The site had been sold by the Council to the Appellant on the basis that it was suitable for residential development, including in relation to highways matters. The Council gave pre-application advice which confirmed that the site was suitable for residential development, and that its access arrangements were acceptable. Nonetheless, once a planning application was made, the Council refused it on highways grounds. The Inspector found that nothing material had changed between the pre-application advice and the refusal, noting that the Council’s sudden change of position was without any reasonable justification, and constituted unreasonable behaviour. A full costs award was made against the Council. The costs decision is available here. Zack Simons acted for the successful Appellant.

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