Children and planning decisions

Zoumbas v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] SC 74 

R. (on the application of Jayes) v Flintshire CC [2017] EWHC 874 overturned by the Court of Appeal in Flintshire CC v Jayes [2018] EWCA Civ 1089

Summary from Westlaw:

The judge’s decision was erroneous. It was trite law that an officer’s report was to be read as a whole, fairly and in a commonsense manner. It merely had to be sufficient to allow the decision-maker to properly understand the relevant issues and exercise its statutory function by determining them. The court would only interfere with a decision involving planning judgment if it was Wednesbury unreasonable. It was unassailable that the officer had concluded that, because of the lack of alternatives, if permission were not granted, the site residents would have to live by the roadside. It was obviously in the children’s best interests that that did not happen and that they remained on the site. On all of the available evidence, the officer had been entitled to conclude that those best interests, together with the other factors in favour of the grant of permission, outweighed countervailing considerations including the identified planning harm. Without having any more precise information concerning the children, it had been open to the officer to consider that, even given the identified planning harm, a refusal of temporary planning permission would be a disproportionate interference to the art.8 rights of the resident families. In planning terms, the adverse impact of refusal, namely to force the 11 children to live on the roadside with the consequent disruption to at least some of their schooling, when taken with the other considerations in favour of grant, was sufficient to outweigh the identified planning harm. In the circumstances, it had not been necessary as a matter of law for or in practice for the officer or committee to carry out further enquiries before recommending and granting permission, on the basis that the identified planning harm was outweighed. The judge’s order was quashed and the respondent’s claim for judicial review dismissed. The grant of temporary permission would therefore remain in place (see paras 42-63 of judgment).

Stevens v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2013] EWHC 792

Collins v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2013] EWCA Civ 1193 at [10]

R. (on the application of Stevens) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2016] EWHC 3737

Basingstoke and Deane BC v Eastwood [2018] EWHC 179 (QB

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