23 July 2013
The Minister for Planning and Environment has published his proposed model for planning appeals against decisions made under the Planning and Building (Jersey) Law 2002.
The model will involve an independent professional reviewing the case and making a recommendation to the Minister, who will then make the final decision. All decisions that can be taken under the Planning and Building (Jersey) Law 2002 will be subject to the appeal process. In order to establish this model the Minister will withdraw from the initial decision making process.
In March this year, Deputy Rob Duhamel published a green paper consultation 'Planning Appeals – Can We Improve the Process?' Responses to this consultation have informed the current debate.
In deciding on the new appeals model, the Minister also took account of Deputy Young’s successful proposition (P.2013/026) calling for a revision to the current appeal process.
The proposed merits-based and cost-effective appeals system will be run independently from the Planning department. Appeals will be held at short hearings administered by the Judicial Greffe. The appeal hearing inspector will make recommendations to the Minister about whether the appeal should be allowed or not.
The proposed process retains the Minister as the ultimate decision maker to ensure democratic accountability, with the Minister acting on the advice of an independently appointed inspector.
To make the proposed process independent, planning applications will no longer be considered by the Planning Minister. Applications will be considered by the Planning Applications Panel (PAP) and officers of the Planning department and the Minister will withdraw from that part of the planning process. Similar arrangements will be put in place for other decisions the Minister could currently become involved with, such as the listing of buildings.
Third party right of appeal will remain in the case of appeals against planning application decisions.
Deputy Duhamel said “I have considered the responses to the green paper and reflected on the States Assembly’s adoption of Deputy Young’s proposition. I have visited Guernsey to review their processes and the Isle of Man which, like us, has a right of third party appeal for planning application decisions.
“I am satisfied that the model I am proposing is the best for Jersey. It introduces an accessible and efficient way for appeals to be considered while retaining the constitutional element of appeal decisions being made by someone who has been elected and is therefore accountable.”