Anyone steaming after a written representations appeal site visit because the appellant has not provided access can take comfort from a warning issued by an inspector in a recent appeal decision (DCS Number 400-020-771).
This case involved an appeal against the refusal of a lawful development certificate for the residential conversion of a property in south London. At the time arranged for the site inspection, the inspector related, the door was locked, and the appellant’s agent did not have a key. He continued “I do not know whether the appellant company and their agent have something to hide regarding the existing layout or use of the appeal property. They may have been thoughtless rather than deliberately obstructive, perhaps assuming that an internal inspection would not be necessary; but they should both note that if they are involved in any future planning appeals where an accompanied site inspection is scheduled, they should make arrangements for full access to the appeal premises. Otherwise their behaviour could be considered unreasonable and they could be liable for an award of costs against them.”
Section 5.343 of DCP Online concerns written representations appeal procedures.