SELBY District Council has been accused of “injustice” and “maladministration” over a planning decision.

The council has been under investigation by the Local Government Ombudsman since October 2013 over a failure to deal with relevant and material planning considerations over an application for a cottage extension which was too close to a resident’s barn conversion.

The LGO said the district council’s report did not include the objection by the complainants about how the extension would affect them, and there was no evidence that the authority had taken material planning considerations into account.

It ordered the council to apologise to the complainants for its failure and pay them £1,896 for the cost of planning consultant’s fees paid for by the complainant, and £250 for their time and trouble in taking the complaint to the LGO.

A council spokesman said: “The council has not accepted the full remedy proposed by the Local Government Ombudsman because it does not consider that payment of £1,896 towards the fees of a consultant engaged by the complainant is reasonable.

“The council has maintained that the relevant issues raised by the neighbour were referred to and properly assessed.

“However, the council has acknowledged that it was an error not to refer specifically to the neighbour’s objection.

“The council has offered to apologise for this error and pay £250 to the neighbour in compensation.”

The LGO said it was “not satisfied” with the council’s response and refusal to pay the consultant’s fees.

The organisation said: “The council should reimburse the planning consultant’s fees as these were only incurred because the case officer’s report did not cover the material planning consideration of permitted development.

“There has clearly been maladministration by the council leading to injustice.

“The council should accept the ombudsman’s report.”