Application for Judicial Review of Planning not Actionable

A developer whose planning permission was subjected to judicial review, instigated by a firm which had an interest in the outcome, found that the Court of Appeal was unwilling to rule that the firm which engineered the review could be sued by the developer, despite the fact that it had mixed motives for its actions.

The case arose after the firm had threatened to bring and subsequently brought proceedings for judicial review of a planning decision involving a development in Westminster. The property developer claimed that the threat was made in order to put pressure on the developer to assist the firm to relocate its offices, which were affected by the development.

Since a judicial review can only proceed with the permission of the court, which weeds out claims that lack merit, the Court found that there was no tort (wrong) committed by the firm which could permit the developer to seek damages.

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