The respondent company had asserted that the local authority had made a determination of the issue of whether electricity could be generated on a waste treatment site without further planning permission. The council said that without a formal planning application, no determination had been made.
Held: The procedure of making a determination had important consequences. It was one stage of a statutory process, which required for several reasons that there first should be a planning application. Nor, here was there any material upon which as estoppel could be raised against the council. Estoppels may bind individuals, where it would unconscionable for them to deny what they had represented or agreed. But those private law concepts should not be extended into the public law of planning control, which bound everyone. Attempts to reconcile the law of estoppel in private and public law contexts were unsatisfactory.
Lord Hoffmann: ‘Public law can also take into account the hierarchy of individual rights which exist under the Human Rights Act 1998, so that, for example, the individual’s right to a home is accorded a high degree of protection . . while ordinary property rights are in general far more limited by considerations of public interest . . .’
Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hope of Craighead and Lord Scott of Foscote
Times 05-Mar-2002,  UKHL 8,  1 WLR 348,  4 All ER 58,  10 EGCS 158,  1 P and CR 5,  JPL 821,  NPC 32
House of Lords, Bailii
Town and Country Planning Act 1964 64, Town and Country Planning General Development Order 1988 (SI 1988 No 1813)
England and Wales
Cited – Newbury District Council v Secretary of State for the Environment HL 1980
Issues arose as to a new planning permission for two existing hangars.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The question of the validity of conditions attached to planning permissions will sometimes be a difficult one. To be valid, a condition must be . .
Cited – Western Fish Products Ltd v Penwith District Council and Another CA 22-May-1978
Estoppel Cannot Oust Statutory Discretion
The plaintiff had been refused planning permission for a factory. The refusals were followed by the issue of Enforcement Notices and Stop Notices. The plaintiff said that they had been given re-assurances upon which they had relied.
Held: The . .
Appeal from – Regina v East Sussex County Council (ex parte Reprotech (Pebsham) Limited) Admn 30-Jul-1999
Where an application for an alteration in a planning permission would mean also that the original use for which permission had been granted would need alteration, a local authority was correct to treat the new use as if it had been a use ancillary . .
Cited – Bloggs 61, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 18-Jun-2003
The applicant sought review of a decision to remove him from a witness protection scheme within the prison. He claimed that having been promised protection, he had a legitimate expectation of protection, having been told he would receive protection . .
Cited – Rowland v The Environment Agency CA 19-Dec-2003
The claimant owned a house by the river Thames at Hedsor Water. Public rights of navigation existed over the Thames from time immemorial, and its management lay with the respondent. Landowners at Hedsor had sought to assert that that stretch was now . .
Cited – Stancliffe Stone Company Ltd v Peak District National Park Authority QBD 22-Jun-2004
The claimants sought a declaration. Planning permission had been confirmed for four mineral extraction sites by letter in 1952. In 1996, two were listed as now being dormant. The claimant said the letter of 1952 created on single planning permision . .
Cited – Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v M HL 8-Mar-2006
The respondent’s child lived with the estranged father for most of each week. She was obliged to contribute child support. She now lived with a woman, and complained that because her relationship was homosexual, she had been asked to pay more than . .
Cited – Yeoman’s Row Management Ltd and Another v Cobbe HL 30-Jul-2008
The parties agreed in principle for the sale of land with potential development value. Considerable sums were spent, and permission achieved, but the owner then sought to renegotiate the deal.
Held: The appeal succeeded in part. The finding . .
Cited – Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education, Regina (on The Application of) v Learning and Skills Council Admn 12-Aug-2010
The applicant had applied to the respondent for funding for new buildings. The application was approved, but the application was rejected when the respondent ran out of funds. The claimant said that a legitimate expectation had been created, and . .
Cited – Finucane, Re Application for Judicial Review SC 27-Feb-2019
(Northern Ireland) The deceased solicitor was murdered in his home in 1989, allegedly by loyalists. They had never been identified, though collusion between security forces and a loyalist paramilitary was established. The ECHR and a judge led . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Planning, Estoppel, Human Rights
Updated: 16 January 2022; Ref: scu.167713