19 March 2013
Islanders are being asked for their views on the current planning appeals process and whether they think it should be changed, in a public consultation launched by the Department of the Environment.
The green paper asks Islanders for their views on how the planning appeals system might be run and who should take ultimate responsibility for decision-making.
Under the present system, if someone wants to appeal against a planning decision in Jersey, they have to apply to the Royal Court. The court does not rule on whether the planning decision itself was right or wrong; it makes a judgment on whether the Minister for Planning and Environment acted unreasonably in reaching that decision.
Despite changes in 2002 to simplify the appeals process, there are still concerns that it is too complex and expensive and that the formality of the Royal Court deters people from appealing. In recent years, three reports have also raised concerns about access to planning appeals.
The consultation asks if Jersey should instead introduce an appeals process that looks at each case on its merits. It also asks Islanders to consider whether appeals should be considered by an independent body, and if so, how that body would be made up.
The Minister for Planning and Environment, Deputy Rob Duhamel, said “There are concerns over whether the current appeals process is the right one for Jersey. The aim of this green paper is to have a public debate about the issues surrounding planning appeals and to ensure they are considered in a balanced manner. There are constitutional issues to consider, as well as planning and administrative matters. All of these factors must be brought together to fully appreciate what the implications for changing the system might be. I hope to hear the views of a wide range of Islanders with a view on planning appeals process and how it might be improved.”
The deadline for responses to the consultation is 7 June 2013.