Richardson and Orme v North Yorkshire County Council: CA 19 Dec 2003

The claimants appealed against an order dismissing their application for a judicial review of the respondent’s grant of planning permission. They contended that a councillor with an interest in the matter had wrongfully not been excluded from the meeting at which the decision was made contrary to the model code of conduct.
Held: On the facts the council had taken the decision in the light of proper consideration of the regulations as to the need for an assessment. The requirement to exclude a member with an interest applied to all members and not just those who had a part in the matter before the committee. It was not open to a member to declare his interest and continue to take part in the meeting. Leave to refer a question to the European Court was refused.
Notwithstanding a clear failure to provide a statement of reasons as required by regulation 21 of the EIA regulations it was held that the appropriate remedy was, not to quash the decision itself, but to make a mandatory order for the required statement to be provided. In the leading judgment, Simon Brown LJ adopted the reasoning at first instance: ‘the first and most important point in the present case is that regulation 21(1) looks to the position after the grant of planning permission. It is concerned with making information available to the public as to what has been decided and why it has been decided, rather than laying down requirements for the decision-making process itself. It implements the obligation in article 9(1) of the directive to make information available to the public ‘when a decision to grant . . development consent has been taken’ (emphasis added). That is to be contrasted with article 2(1) of the Directive, which lays down requirements as to what must be done before the grant of planning permission (which may be granted only after a prior assessment of significant environmental effects).
The fact that the requirement focuses on the availability of information for public inspection after the decision has been made, rather than on the decision-making process, leads me to the view that a breach of regulation 21(1) ought not to lead necessarily to the quashing of the decision itself. A breach should be capable in principle of being remedied, and the legislative purpose achieved, by a mandatory order requiring the authority to make available a statement at the place, and containing the information, specified in the regulation.’


Lord Justice Keene Lord Justice Scott Baker Lord Justice Simon Brown


[2003] EWCA Civ 1860, [2003] EWCA Civ 1921, Times 19-Jan-2004, [2004] 1 WLR 1920


Bailii, Bailii


Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England & Wales) Regulations 1999


England and Wales


Appeal fromRichardson and Another, Regina (on the Application Of) v North Yorkshire County Council and others Admn 15-Apr-2003
. .
CitedRegina v Yeovil Borough Council, ex parte Trustees of Elim Pentecostal Church, Yeovil QBD 1971
The Council’s Planning Committee had resolved that the town clerk should be authorised to approve the application when evidence of an agreement about car parking facilities had been received.
Held: There is no effective planning permission . .
CitedBerkeley v Secretary of State for Environment Transport and the Regions London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames CA 29-Jun-2001
There is no obligation to refer every application to the Secretary of State where an objector raised a plausible argument that an environmental impact assessment might be needed. In this case the application did not fall within Schedule I, and nor . .
CitedRegina v London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham And Others, ex parte Burkett and Another HL 23-May-2002
The applicant sought judicial review of the respondent’s grant of planning permission for a development which would affect her. The authority objected that the application was made after three months after their decision, and so leave should not be . .
CitedBrayhead (Ascot) Ltd v Berkshire County Council CA 1964
Planning permission had been granted subject to conditions, but no reasons had been given for the imposition of those conditions. The Order required the local planning authority to state its reasons in writing if it decided to grant planning . .
CitedRegina v Westminster City Council Ex Parte Ermakov CA 14-Nov-1995
The applicant, having moved here from Greece, applied for emergency housing. The Council received no reply to its requests for corroboration sent to Greece. Housing was refused, but the officer later suggested that the real reason was that the . .
CitedFlannery and Another v Halifax Estate Agencies Ltd, Trading As Colleys Professional Services CA 18-Feb-1999
A judge at first instance taking a view on an expert’s report should give reasons in his judgment for that view. On appeal, where no reasons had been given, he should be asked to provide reasons by affidavit for the appeal. An inadequately reasoned . .
CitedEnglish v Emery Reimbold and Strick Ltd; etc, (Practice Note) CA 30-Apr-2002
Judge’s Reasons Must Show How Reached
In each case appeals were made, following Flannery, complaining of a lack of reasons given by the judge for his decision.
Held: Human Rights jurisprudence required judges to put parties into a position where they could understand how the . .
CitedRegina (on the Application of Carlton-Conway) v London Borough of Harrow Admn 7-Nov-2001
The applicant objected to an application for planning permission by a neighbour. The authority authorised officers to exercise delegated powers to grant permission where no objection had been received. Even then the officer could exercise the power . .
CitedRegina (Goodman and Another) v Lewisham London Borough Council CA 14-Feb-2003
Claimants challenged the grant of planning consent for the construction of a storage and distribution facility without first undertaking an environmental impact assessment.
Held: The local authority had concluded that the project could not be . .
CitedRegina v Mendip District Council ex parte Fabre 2000
The planning committee had accepted the officer’s recommendation: ‘ . . one is concerned with the members’ reasons not the planning officer’s, but where a planning officer makes a recommendation which is followed by the members, the reasonable . .
CitedRegina v Flintshire County Council, Ex Parte Armstrong-Braun CA 20-Feb-2001
A local council introduced a standing order to the effect that an item could not be placed on an agenda without being seconded. In doing so it had failed entirely to consider the fundamental effect this would have on democracy. Independent members . .
CitedJones, Regina (on the Application of) v Mansfield District Council and Another CA 16-Oct-2003
Plannning permission was sought. Objectors said that it would have such an impact that an environmental impact assessment was required. They now sought judicial review of the decision to proceed without one.
Held: The judge had explained the . .

Cited by:

Appealed toRichardson and Another, Regina (on the Application Of) v North Yorkshire County Council and others Admn 15-Apr-2003
. .
CitedMurphy v Ethical Standards Officer of Standards Board for England Admn 28-Oct-2004
The claimant, a local authority councillor, challenged a finding that he had contravened the Code of Conduct, by failing to withdraw from a meeting in which he had a personal interest, namely a critical report by the Local Government Ombudsman.
CitedScrivens v Ethical Standards Officer Admn 11-Apr-2005
The councillor appealed an adjudication that he had failed adequately to declare an interest at a meeting of the council. The officer thought the duty to withdraw was entirely objective, the applicant that it was a matter for his honest judgment. At . .
CitedDover District Council v CPRE Kent SC 6-Dec-2017
‘When a local planning authority against the advice of its own professional advisers grants permission for a controversial development, what legal duty, if any, does it have to state the reasons for its decision, and in how much detail? Is such a . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Planning, Local Government

Updated: 26 November 2022; Ref: scu.188900