An appeal against the rejection of the planning application to develop the outer harbour of Brighton Marina, which was rejected in 2005, will go straight to the Secretary of State for determination rather than through the usual planning inspectorate.
John Prescott has decided to short circuit the usual procedure and instead of hearing the appeal a planning inspector will be instructed to write a report for the DPM. Representative’s of the local authority will still have to defend their decision to reject the application which may prove difficult in the light of such a glowing officer recommendation. Because officer’s recommended the application for approval they will not have to defend the rejection but an elected member (councillor) will.
It is unusual for the ODPM to intervene before a formal inquiry and it reflects the importance of the development both to the city and the region that John Prescott has decided to do so in this instance.
The scheme was rejected by Brighton & Hove City Council on the grounds of obstruction of views from Kemp Town and the South Downs, over development of the site, insufficient public and amenity space, and insufficient residential parking spaces.
The cost of the refusal of the application is estimated to have cost Brunswick Group in the region of half a million pounds. If the local authority is found to have acted unreasonably it may have to foot Brunswick’s bill.
The Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership (BHEP) supported the planning application (see earlier stories in knowledgebase)
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