What it all cost

THE report last week of the reversal by a government planning inspector of Ryedale District Council’s refusal to allow a proposed redevelopment of the Malton livestock market was as important for what it did not say as for what it did (The Press, November 7).

The inspector disagreed with all four of the reasons the council gave for refusing planning consent. This is not a case where an inspector took a different view “on balance” or on a technicality.

The inspector disagreed profoundly with the reasons given for the refusal. Indeed, he found two of those reasons to be so unreasonable that he has decreed that the council must refund the Fitzwilliam Malton Estate’s costs incurred in having to appeal.

It is unusual for a planning authority to be required to refund costs and reflects the inspector’s view that the council’s actions have to be viewed as unreasonable and have resulted in unnecessary or wasted expense. These costs will inevitably be borne by the public.

Half-way through the hearing, when the council had admitted that its reasons were flawed, the estate made an offer to settle and concede the recovery of costs to that point in return for saving further costs and time. The council refused and required the hearing to continue in the knowledge that substantial further costs would be incurred.

RJG Bushell Estate manager, Fitzwilliam (Malton) Estates.

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