Personal circumstances should not affect Planning Approval

A Council has been criticised by the Local Government Ombudsman for a sympathetic approach to a planning application which involved an elderly and disbled person, stating that a Council's procedures should be adhered to and that personal circumstances should not impact. It will be interesting to see if this type of ruling might be challeneged in future inder the Equality Act or Human Rights legislation, both of which are having an increasingly significant legal impact.
The person who applied for permission to build the bungalow was elderly, disabled and owned a home which was susceptible to flooding. Melton Borough Council granted planning permission despite the objections of the owners of adjoining land and even though the application was contrary to the Council’s stated planning policies and went against the recommendation of the planning officer who had reviewed the application.
The Ombudsman ruled that the owners of the adjoining land should be compensated for the diminution in value of their property as a result of planning permission being granted and awarded an additional £500 for their time and trouble in raising the complaint.

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