Not a beauty contest

12 Aug 2022

An inspector, dealing with an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for a house in south-east London, has explained in plain terms that he was not prepared to judge between two different amended schemes (DCS Number 400-036-641). 

The appellants had put forward two alternative sets of amended plans as part of their appeal submission. The inspector noted that these were intended to address the council’s concerns about outlook and were presented as Options A and B.

In deciding whether or not to accept the revised plans, the inspector gave consideration to the “Wheatcroft Principles” (Bernard Wheatcroft Ltd v SSE [1982]) and whether any prejudice would occur. He was satisfied that, as the changes put forward in both alternative sets of drawings were relatively minor and did not change the overall nature of the scheme, no parties would be prejudiced by his accepting the plans. He explained, however, that in determining an appeal, it was not for him to judge a beauty contest between alternative versions of a scheme put forward by the appellants. Accordingly, he determined the appeal based on the Option B drawings, for the simple reason that they had the highest revision letters and, therefore, presumably could be taken as representing the most recent expressions of the appellants’ intentions. He did not take the Option A drawings into consideration. 

Further information about Wheatcroft can be found in section 5.35 of DCP Online.