Call in: duty to give reasons for decision to call in (or not to call in)

R. (on the application of Save Britain’s Heritage) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2018] EWCA Civ 2137

4th October 2018

In summary, the case decided that there is no statutory or common law duty for the Secretary of State to give reasons for his decision to call in, or not, a planning application.  There was held to be  a legitimate expectation in this case based on a green paper issued in 2001, where the SoS promised to give reasons for his decisions to call in.  This promise was repeated in a ministerial statement in 2010 and not addressed or withdrawn in a ministerial statement in 2012.  The SoS changed its practice in 2014.  The change was made internally and the SoS altered its template decision letter to exclude detailed reasons.  There was no public announcement of the change.   It was held that this change in practice did not have the effect of withdrawing the earlier published promise.

Commentary

Presumably the legitimate expectation for reasons continues as of this date until and unless the government changes its position.

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