Developer gripe at planners

A SUFFOLK council has been criticised for unreasonable behaviour in refusing a planning application and making a developer incur extra costs in fighting an appeal.

A SUFFOLK council has been criticised for unreasonable behaviour in refusing a planning application and making a developer incur extra costs in fighting an appeal.

Suffolk Coastal District Council had refused permission for Framlingham Properties Ltd to build five properties in Kesgrave with access from Holly Road onto the site adjoining Woodbridge Road.

The council was taken to appeal where a Government planning inspector ruled that the proposed development would not harm the character and appearance of the surrounding area or protected trees within the site. Permission was granted.

The applicants then asked for costs and the inspector decided that the Woodbridge-based district council had acted unreasonably with one aspect of the development.


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A council report to be presented to the development control sub-committee on May 28 said: "The inspector concluded that, while the council was not bound to follow the advice of its officers, it must show reasonable planning grounds for taking a decision contrary to such advice.

"In his opinion the inspector found it had not done so in the case of the first reason for refusal and that unreasonable behaviour resulting in unnecessary expense had been demonstrated."

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The costs will be assessed in the Supreme Court Costs Office if they can not be agreed between the council and the developer.

A council spokesman said: "Members shared the views of the Kesgrave Town Council and local residents that the proposed development would be out of character with the area and would adversely affect preserved trees.

"Unfortunately the inquiry inspector didn't accept the arguments put forward by the Council, overturned our decision and made a partial award of costs." He added a final agreement had not been reached yet on the costs.

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