Lost planning appeals have seen Wealden District Council pay out £440,000 in costs this year, according to a Cabinet report.
The figures were set out in a financial monitoring forecast, which was considered by the Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday (7th December).
It showed that the Council, as of Quarter 2 of the 2022/23 financial year, has had £440,000 of costs awarded against as a result of lost planning appeals. The report also showed the Council had paid £235,000 in legal and consultant fees related to planning appeals and £145,000 in legal fees connected to enforcement cases.
Cllr Neil Waller, Crowborough South West and Conservative Portfolio Holder for Finance and Benefits, said:
Obviously we are aware recently of some very high profile, high cost losses of planning appeals. This unfortunately is where it is reflected.
I know there was a discussion at [Full] Council about [how] Planning Committee should consider very carefully their decisions. Well, this is the financial impact of perhaps not very carefully considering their decisions.
What it means overall is that we are now reporting a £300,000 adverse variance. [The planning service] had been predicted to report an £80,000 surplus at this stage; it is now a £220,000 deficit.Cllr Waller
Well, if Council had protested strongly to central government over years of underfunding, instead of rolling over and not wishing to upset a government of their own colour, they might not be in this mess now.