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Local Government Ombudsman emphasises the importance of recording reasons for planning decisions

The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has underlined the importance of recording the reasons for planning committee decisions following an investigation into the conduct of a local authority.

The LGO upheld complaints about the way a Council approved an application for a green belt development, including that the initial application was not advertised properly and that members did not give any reasons for granting planning permission. Members had decided to approve the application against the officer's recommendation and no record was made of the reasons for their decision.

The LGO recommended that the council apologise to the complainant neighbours for failing to publicise the application and for not giving reasons for the decision to grant planning permission. It should also review its working practices and procedures to ensure it properly records the reasons for its decisions and provide training to members on giving proper reasons for their decisions.

The LGO stated that recording reasons was particularly important when the relevant decisions conflicted with planning officers' recommendations.

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