Court ruling underlines need for swift action on Planning appeals

A court ruling supporting the rejection of a Planning appeal filed a day after the 28-day deadline underlines the need to take advice early and file papers on time, says Planning and construction law specialist Claire Smith.

The recent case of Guest v Minister for Planning and Environment concerned a couple who wanted to appeal against the Planning permission granted to their neighbours for a single storey extension and garage to their listed farm house.

Planning permission was granted on 27 January, triggering a 28-day window for appeals from the day that the permission was given, ending on 23 February.

The complainant's lawyer advised them – wrongly – that they had until 24 February to file their papers. Their planning consultant was not instructed until 22 February and the appeal was not filed until 24 February, 24 hours after the deadline had passed.

The neighbour appealed – and although the Royal Court ruled that the Greffier does have the ability to extend the deadline in some circumstances, the circumstances of the case did not justify an extension.

Claire, a Planning and construction law specialist in Ogier's property law team, said: "Regardless of the merits of the case, the outcome of this appeal underlines the importance of acting quickly and instructing lawyers and consultants at an early stage.

"This is not the first case of its kind to come to court, and while the Royal Court has made it clear that the 28-day deadline can be extended provided that a civil right for the purposes of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights is engaged. Even then any discretion can only arise in exceptional circumstances, which is a high bar, and applicants will need strong justification to secure more time to file an appeal."