13 January 2015
A new planning appeals system will be introduced in March, if the States approves further changes to the current Law.
In July last year the States approved amendments to the Planning and Building Law to allow a more efficient appeals process. The Minister for Planning and Environment has lodged further administrative amendments to the Law, along with an indication of what the fees will be to bring an appeal.
The States Assembly is due to debate the proposals at its meeting on 24 February. If approved, the new merits-based and cost-effective appeals system is expected to be introduced in March. It will be run independently from the Planning department. It will also mean that:
- appeals will be held at short hearings or by written submissions administered by the Judicial Greffe and considered by independent inspectors
- the appeal hearing inspector will make recommendations to the Minister about whether the appeal should be allowed or not
- the Minister remains the ultimate decision maker to ensure democratic accountability
The Minister will no longer be involved in the initial consideration of applications or decisions that could be appealed. A new Planning Applications Committee will replace the role of the current Planning Applications Panel and the resources for servicing the Panel will transfer to the Committee.
Minister for Planning and Environment Deputy Steve Luce said “The new appeals system offers an accessible and efficient way for appeals to be considered, and I am sure that members of the public will be pleased that we can now offer them a simpler and more cost effective way of lodging an appeal. Crucially the new system makes the merits of a case the most important consideration for any decision. As a whole this will mean that decisions can be tested fairly and reasonably, and those challenges will strengthen the credibility of the system.”