More detailed information about how Jersey’s proposed new independent planning appeals system will work is now available.
In September last year, the States Assembly agreed the framework for a new independent appeals system. Amendments to the Planning and Building (Jersey) Law 2002 have now been lodged, which contain detailed information about how the new appeals process would work. The amendments are due to be debated by the States on 1 July 2014.
Under the new appeals process, an independent inspector would consider the merits of each appeal and then report to the Minister for Planning and Environment who would make the final decision.
Among the decisions people would be able to appeal against are applications for planning permission, enforcement notices, building bye-law decisions and the listing of buildings or trees. The new system would also apply to third party appeals which allow someone to contest a decision made about someone else’s land or property.
To avoid pre-judging any appeal, the Minister would not be involved in deciding applications in the first instance. This would lead to a wider role for the Planning Applications Panel in considering applications.
The new system would be administered by the Judicial Greffe to ensure impartiality in the processing of any appeal.
People who go ahead with an appeal against decisions would have to pay a fee. These haven’t been fixed yet but they would be affordable, as one of the criticisms of the existing process was the cost involved in making an appeal to the Royal Court.
Minister for Planning and Environment, Deputy Rob Duhamel, said: “These amendments take us a step further along the road to a more accessible, independent and merits-based appeals process.
“The new system will not only offer people an easier route for getting a decision reviewed, but it will provide some assurance for those involved, in what can be a very complex, contentious and sometimes stressful process, that it is impartial and independent, and that ultimately, the right decisions are being made.”