In April this year the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced plans to change the judicial review system in relation to planning cases. At the time the MoJ stated: “We are changing the system so it cannot be used anymore as a cheap delaying tactic”.
Yesterday a spokeswoman for the MoJ confirmed that the new rules would come into force next month on 1st July 2013.
The main change in the reform is the reduction of the time limit for applying for a Judicial Review of planning decisions from 3 months to 6 weeks. Other changes include an increase in the court fee for anyone seeking an oral hearing and the right to remove it altogether if a judge deems the application to be “totally without merit”.
Justice Minister, Chris Grayling reiterated the point yesterday by stating: “judicial review should be used by people who have carefully considered whether they have proper grounds to challenge a decision”
The reforms will inevitably reduce the risk of a Judicial Review challenge to developments and the shortened period may now be an acceptable time to wait before commencing works. However if you (as a developer) or your developer client (If you are a lawyer) need to start work as soon as planning is granted, MOFS can help arrange bespoke cover to protect against the risk of planning being overturned by Judicial Review. We make the arrangement of the policy very easy; helping collate the relevant information from the local authorities planning portal and we can liaise directly with a developer to ascertain suitable heads of loss and an appropriate level of indemnity.
From the 1st July when the reforms come into force, we would expect to see the reduction in risk reflected in insurer’s premiums for this type of cover.
For further information please contact Alex Bielinski on 07776 481617.