Planning procedures can sometimes appear infuriatingly circular and never ending. In one extreme case, the High Court has – for the third time – overturned planning consent granted for a superstore on the outskirts of a Gloucestershire town.
The plans had been consistently opposed by a town centre retailer who feared that the superstore would take away half of its turnover and lead to its closure. Following judicial review proceedings, the Court had identified legal flaws in planning permissions granted in 2012 and 2013 and both had been quashed.
The local authority again granted consent in 2014 and the retailer again challenged the decision. In quashing the permission, the Court found that a planning officer’s report, on which councillors based their decision, had not adequately informed them of the true extent of the harm that the superstore would inflict on the retailer and the viability and vitality of the town centre in general.