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Brownfield claim was maladministration

During 2002, Derwentside District Council granted planning permission for a greenfield site on the mistaken basis that it was brownfield. CPRE complained about the decision to the Local Government Ombudsman. Upon investigation, the Ombudsman found that there had been maladministration...

The Ombudsman found:

  • Planning officers had failed to investigate the status of the site or define brownfield
  • Councillors did not get the advice they needed to make a fair judgement
  • The basis on which councillors took the decision was flawed
  • The officers should have told the planning committee whether the site was brownfield or not
  • The Government Office for the North East had been misled by the council's inaccurate information and decided not to call in the application
  • It was maladministration not to check the factual basis on which the planning committee made its decision.

The local CPRE group successfully argued that the matter should be investigated because the planning decision had undermined the provisions of the development plan.