Circular 03/2009 – Costs awards in appeals and other planning proceedings

The Planning Act 2008 introduced a change to the determination of procedure for certain proceedings. One of the changes enables the Planning Inspectorate to determine the most appropriate appeal procedure for planning appeals. As a result the costs regime has been extended to apply to all appeals, so that it is now possible to apply for an award of costs in hearings and on written representations matters as well as at full-blown public inquiries.

The basic principles of costs awards have not changed. In brief these are:

  • Parties are generally expected to meet their own expenses
  • Costs awards do not follow the outcome of the appeal
  • Costs will only be awarded where the following conditions have been met:
    • a party has made a timely application for an award of costs;
    • the party against whom an award is sought has acted unreasonably; and
    • the unreasonable behaviour has caused the applying party to incur unnecessary or wasted costs in the appeal process
  • The local planning authority, the appellant, third parties and statutory consultees with the power to direct a local authority to refuse permission are all able to apply for an award and may all have an award made against them
  • Awards may be full or partial
  • Appeals arising from some CPO and analogous orders have a similar (but not identical) process

The Circular contains guidance and practical advice on costs applications.