Mount Cook Land Ltd and Another v Westminster City Council: CA 14 Oct 2003

The applicants had sought judicial review of the defendant’s grant of planning permission for the redevelopment of the former CandA building in Oxford Street. Though the application for leave to apply had been successful, and a full hearing took place, the judge awarded also the costs of the defendant in responding to the original and successful application.
Held: The order was a proper exercise of the judge’s discretion. Under the old rules applications could be made without fear of a costs order, but that had changed. Leach did not mean that an authority successfully resisting an application for leave should in principle recover its costs, but here there were exceptional reasons, including the fact that the applicant was financially sound, and had managed to obtain a fuller hearing at the application for leave stage. Courts should generally resist attempts to turn applications for leave into rehearsals for a full hearing. As to the applicant’s motives, ‘I do not say that considerations of a claimant’s motive in claiming judicial review could never be relevant to a court’s decision whether to refuse relief in its discretion, for example, where the pursuance of the motive in question goes so far beyond the advancement of a collateral purpose as to amount to an abuse of process. The court should, at the very least, be slow to have recourse to that species of conduct as a basis for discretionary refusal of relief’.
Auld LJ said: ‘judicial review applications by would-be developers or objectors to development in planning cases are, by their very nature, driven primarily by commercial or private motive rather than a high-minded concern for the public weal.’


Lord Justice Auld Lord Justice Clarke Lord Justice Jonathan Parker


[2003] EWCA Civ 1346, Times 16-Oct-2003, [2004] 2 PandCR 22, [2004] 1 PLR 29




Civil Procedure Rules 54 (Practice Direction 8.4)


England and Wales


CitedRegina (Leach) v Commissioner for Local Administration QBD 2-Aug-2001
The new rules now required a respondent to an application for judicial review, to prepare and file an acknowledgement of service. Where he was successful in defending, or resisting the application for leave, there is no reason in principle why he . .
FollowedRegina (Jones and Another) v North Warwickshire Borough Council CA 30-Mar-2001
When considering a planning application, it was only in exceptional circumstances that the authority should consider alternative sites. Those circumstances would be where the proposed development would involve such a conspicuous adverse impact, that . .

Cited by:

CitedPhillips v First Secretary of State and others Admn 22-Oct-2003
The claimant had objected to the grant of permission to erect a mobile phone mast near her property. The issue was that she had not been given opportunity to comment upon the consideration of alternative sites.
Held: The consideration of . .
CitedRegina on the Application of Feakins v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs CA 4-Nov-2003
The applicant farmer had substantial volumes of potentially contaminated carcasses on his land. The respondent derogated from the European regulations which would have arranged for the disposal of the carcasses. The respondent challenged the . .
CitedSenior-Milne, Regina (On the Application of) v The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Admn 8-Sep-2009
The claimant was concerned that the Financial Service Authority had failed properly to supervise the de-mutualisation of the Scottish Widows insurance company, and had not identified a failure to disclose very substantial potential liabilities. He . .
CitedLand Securities Plc and Others v Fladgate Fielder (A Firm) CA 18-Dec-2009
The claimants wanted planning permission to redevelop land. The defendant firm of solicitors, their tenants, had challenged the planning permission. The claimants alleged that that opposition was a tortious abuse because its true purpose was to . .
PreferredSmoke Club Ltd, Regina (on The Application of) v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd Admn 29-Oct-2013
The claimant had been refused leave to bring judicial review. It then renewed its application before finally wthdrawing it. The court now considered liability for costs.
Held: ‘There are particular reasons for the particular rules governing . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Planning, Costs, Judicial Review

Updated: 08 June 2022; Ref: scu.186735