Home Information Cases R v Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport & The Regions & Ors (2001)

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R v Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport & The Regions & Ors (2001)

Summary

An appeal against an enforcement notice could only be brought by a person who had an interest in the land concerned at the time the appeal was brought or by a licensee who occupied the land both when the notice was served and when the appeal was brought.

Facts

Application for judicial review of a planning inspector's decision that neither applicant had standing to bring an appeal against an enforcement notice under s.174 Town and Country Planning Act 1990 because they had neither an interest in land at the relevant time nor a licence to occupy and thus their appeal did not fall to be determined. An enforcement notice was served in respect of land farmed by the applicants. 15 days afterwards their lease of the relevant land was determined and there was no agreement to continue over. It was alleged that a partnership to which the applicants had had connections was still in occupation of the land at the time the appeal was made and it was on this ground that the applicants justified their standing to appeal. The inspector decided that to have standing under s.174 of the Act an appellant had either: (i) to be someone with an interest in the land at the time the appeal was made; or (ii) to be someone with a licence to occupy on the dates that the notice was served and the appeal was made. On the evidence the applicants had failed to show that they satisfied either criterion. The appellants argued that this conclusion was wrong in law. HELD: (1) The inspector's decision concerning standing under s.174 of the Act was correct. An appeal against an enforcement notice caould only be brought by a person who had a legal or equitable interest in the land concerned at the time the appeal was brought (whether or not he had such interest on the date the notice was served) or by a licensee who occupied the land both when the notice was served and when the appeal was brought. (2) On the facts the appellants had an interest in land when the notice was served, but that ceased before the making of the appeal due to determination of the lease. It had not been proven that there was any arrangement for them to occupy the land under licence thereafter and thus they had no standing to appeal. (3) The inspector's decision was not wrong in law.

Held

Application dismissed.

Queen's Bench Division
Penry-Davey J
Judgment date
23 February 2001
References

[2001] EWHC Admin 146