Seddon Properties Ltd v Secretary of State for the Environment: 1978

The court considered the degree of detail to be provided in a decision notice: ‘Since the courts will only interfere if he acts beyond his powers (which is the foundation of all the above principles), it is clear that his powers include the determination of the weight to be given to any particular contention; he is entitled to attach what weight he pleases to the various arguments and contentions of the parties; the courts will not entertain a submission that he gave undue weight to one argument or failed to give any weight at all to another. Again, in doing so he must, at any rate if substantial issues are involved, give clear reasons for his decision.
In considering whether or not the Secretary of State has acted contrary to any of these principles the materials on which the court may come to a conclusion are, in general, the inspector’s report and the letter of the Secretary of State setting out his decision. In approaching this task it is no part of the court’s duty to subject that decision letter to the kind of scrutiny appropriate to the determination of the meaning of a contract or a statute. Because the letter is addressed to the parties who are well aware of all the issues involved and of the arguments deployed at the inquiry it is not necessary to rehearse every argument . .’


Forbes J


(1978) 42 PandCR 26


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedSouth Somerset District Council v Secretary of State for the Environment CA 1993
Following Seddon properties, when considering the degree of detail to be given by an inspector in his decision notice: ‘The inspector is not writing an examination paper . . One must look at what the inspector thought the important planning issues . .
CitedSouth Buckinghamshire District Council and Another v Porter (No 2) HL 1-Jul-2004
Mrs Porter was a Romany gipsy who bought land in the Green Belt in 1985 and lived there with her husband in breach of planning control. The inspector gave her personal permission to continue use, and it had been appealed and cross appealed on the . .
CitedGreen, Regina (on the Application Of) v First Secretary of State and others Admn 13-Apr-2005
Appeal was made against the decision to allow and refuse changes of use on land for the siting of caravans and mobile homes. . .
CitedWind Prospect Developments Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Another Admn 5-Dec-2014
The claimant appealed against refusal of permission to erect a six turbine wind farm. The inspector had recommended the plan, but the defendant had decided against it.
Held: The claim failed. The planning inspector’s report is the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.198570