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... The summary by Brian Waters of the new local authority power to decline to accept planning applications (AJ 29.09.05) ended with a teaser by referring to a catch-22.

In fact, if you get a 'quickie' refusal and lose the consequent appeal, or resubmit as a free go and get a second refusal, the authority can decline any subsequent application it deems to be similar (not just 'the same' but 'substantially the same').

Such a decision can only be challenged by (expensive and time-consuming) judicial review, so proceed to an early appeal with caution - but meanwhile keep on twin-tracking!

(Current decision time for hearing appeals being quoted by the Planning Inspectorate is 14-15 months. ) Andrew Rogers, Association of Consultant Architects Planning Advisory Group

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