SELBY District Council has been criticised for the second time by the Local Government Ombudsman over its handling of a planning application.

The ombudsman (LGO) has issued a second report into the district council after the council refused to comply with recommendations made in a previous report.

In its first report, issued in October 2013, the LGO had asked the council to apologise to a couple after officers failed to deal properly with a planning application.

The case centres on a planning application for an extension to a cottage in the area. Neighbours of the property objected to the plans, saying the extension would block light to their kitchen/ diner, but their objections were left out of a planning officers' report and officials granted permission for the scheme.

The couple complained to the LGO, who found the council had not followed proper procedures and recommended it apologise, pay the couple £1,896 for the cost of their planning consultant’s fees along with a £250 "time and trouble" payment, and although the council offered to pay the £250 it has refused to cover the consultant's costs.

Now the ombudsman Dr Jane Martin has issued another report, again asking the council to apologise and pay the couple's costs.

She said: “I have considered the council’s objections in detail and uphold my original decision. While our decision is final, it is now up to the council to decide how they implement the recommendations – the vast majority of authorities agree to them.

“I hope the council will reconsider its position so that the situation can be resolved and a satisfactory outcome can be achieved for the couple involved.”