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Planning Appeal Cost Awards

What is a Planning Appeal Cost Award?

Do you feel that your planning application refusal was unfair or unnecessary, and that you should receive compensation for the time and money invested in your appeal?

During planning appeals, parties normally meet their own expenses. However, it is sometimes possible to be eligible for a “Cost Award”. A Cost Award is an order, enforceable by the courts, that allows you to claim back the costs of your appeal, either in part or in full.

Costs can be awarded for all types of appeal procedures, including written representations, hearings, and inquiries. The amount you are able to claim will also cover the cost of employing an agent and for their representation throughout the appeal. Additionally, it will cover the costs of the application itself and any professional advice you have sought. However, costs are not awarded unless there has been some unreasonable conduct, for example where an appeal could or should have been avoided.

At HEAL Planning Appeals, we can assist you with the following stages of your application for a Planning Appeal Cost Award:

Written Representation

The costs application will be submitted as a separate matter, at the same time as the appeal. It should be supported by a full statement of why an award is justified. The reasons for refusal, as cited by the council, should be addressed independently.

Unnecessary costs must be quantified and proven. You should note that a Costs Award should only be applied for where it is clear that the “other party” has acted unreasonably. As such, refusal of planning permission in itself is not an adequate reason for claiming back costs.

Hearing and Inquiries

Hearings and inquiries require the applicant to submit a written statement in advance, detailing their grounds for reimbursement, or a written skeleton argument. This must then be disclosed to the other party so that they are aware that the applicant intends to claim back costs.

If I am successful in applying for a Costs Award, how much money will I receive?

When a Costs Award is granted, it does not specify the amount to be paid. However, it does give directions for how the awarded money should be calculated. Then, both parties have to agree on the costs following receipt of the Award. If the amount cannot be agreed upon then the matter can be referred to a Costs Officer of the Supreme Court Costs Office, for a detailed assessment of the amount.

A Costs Award is not a common procedure and it is not automatically awarded following a successful appeal. Likewise, an unsuccessful applicant is not expected to automatically cover the other side’s costs. It is perfectly feasible that you will only be granted a partial award or even refused a costs claim in its entirety. Where the application for a full award is only partially granted, a proportion of application expenses can be recovered accordingly.

HEAL Planning Appeals can also make a claim for the client’s costs where the circumstances are considered appropriate on an ‘at risk’ basis.

If you think you may be eligible for a Cost Award, get in touch with us today to see how we can give you the best chance of success.