Ooh - Painful. A full award for costs against a local authority in Herefordshire
The planning officer recommendation was for approval of an intensive poultry unit but this was overturned by the planning committee.
The application was fully supported by reports and evidence that the impacts of the proposal on the amenity and health of neighbours would be acceptable and the Council commissioned its own specialist consultants to appraise and validate the submissions. These conclusions were accepted by officers and formed the basis of the positive recommendation in the committee report.
However, the planning committee focused their decision on the impacts of the proposal on the amenity and health of neighbours through the effects of odour and bio-aerosols - even though these matters had bee considered in detail by various experts - all of whom concluded the these impacts would be accepted, following standard industry approaches to the assessment of such impacts. The committee reach a contrary conclusion to the officer and the application was refused - even though they were advised of the possibility of attracting a costs claim.
The Inspector concluder that the Council had behaved unreasonably and gave a full award of costs.
Councillors beware!! If only we could provide some basic training opportunities to aid Councillors in their assessment of applications at committee. It would certainly be a benefit to all!