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Planning Appeals to be Simplified

15/01/15

The cost of disputing a development near your home is going to drop significantly under a new Planning appeals system starting from March this year.

The Planning department want to change the rules to set up a more efficient appeals process, and make sure that the Planning Minister can’t make decisions on individual applications.

Changes were proposed after States debates last year, and still have to be signed off by the new House.

The new Planning Minister, Deputy Steve Luce, said that the crucial point was that people shouldn’t be prevented from using the system because they can’t afford it.The old system involved extensive legal and court work, and it tended to favour the side with the deepest pockets – making it difficult for Islanders to fight big developments in particular. The new system will see an independent inspector gather evidence and then make a recommendation to the Minister about whether a decision should be quashed or not.

Deputy Luce said: “The new appeals system offers an accessible and efficient way for appeals to be considered, and I am sure that members of the public will be pleased that we can now offer them a simpler and more cost effective way of lodging an appeal.

“Crucially the new system makes the merits of a case the most important consideration for any decision.

“As a whole this will mean that decisions can be tested fairly and reasonably, and those challenges will strengthen the credibility of the system.”

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