78.2% of appeals won by East Devon between April 2015 and end March 2016

East Devon District Council’s Development Management Committee (DMC) received good news about the council’s appeals success rate when it met on 10 May 2016.

The council’s annual appeals status report has revealed that East Devon is continuing to maintain an outstanding appeals success rate, having successfully defended over 70% of appeals over the past four years, despite not having an adopted Local Plan or a five-year housing land supply for some of that period.

Figures for appeals lodged between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016 show that the council won 78.2% of its planning appeals, having lost just 12 out of 55 appeals. This compares exceptionally well with the national average of appeals won by local councils, which is around 65%. This is due to the consistently excellent quality of decisions made by the council on planning matters.

Furthermore, during the financial year 2015 to 2016, all nine applications for appeal costs against East Devon were refused, so no appeal costs were paid by the council. An application for an award of costs can be made by either party involved in an appeal, but will only be successful if the appeals Inspector decides that a party has acted unreasonably.

Councillor Andrew Moulding, East Devon District Council’s Portfolio holder for Strategic Development and Partnerships, said:

One of our most challenging priorities as a council is managing a delicate balance between delivering the Local Plan’s housing requirements and ensuring that the natural environment and historic buildings are protected from inappropriate development.

I am therefore proud to say that our appeals success rate is evidence that – even without the protection of a Local Plan and five-year housing land supply – we are implementing National Planning Policy correctly and making decisions on planning applications in line with current Government advice.

In fact, although the number of appeal decisions received over the past 12 months is less than the previous year (57), the council has exceeded the previous success rates, which have been achieved over the past three years.

To achieve such consistency in the decision making process is not easy, as the Government has made several changes to planning policies over the past 12-18 months, which has affected our local planning procedures.