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MHK critical of DEFA's changes to third-party appeal rights

Tue, 19 Feb 2019

An MHK has criticised the way changes to interested party status have been handled, and says the public ‘must have confidence in the planning system’.

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture introduced a new policy internally which altered the criteria for those who can appeal planning decisions.

It came into effect without warning for local authorities or the public, and meant many who’d been involved in long running planning disputes lost their third-party right to appeal.

Middle MHK Bill Shimmins says introducing changes halfway through the process is unfair on those who’ve spent money, time and effort engaging with the system.

He’s also described the lack of engagement prior to the introduction of the policy by DEFA as ‘regrettable’.

The issue was acutely felt in his constituency, where Crosby residents and Marown Commissioners expressed anger at the change, and accused DEFA of pandering to the needs of developers rather than the public.

DEFA Minister Geoffrey Boot justified the policy as a means of clamping down on those who abuse the system, and to speed up ‘economic development’.

When asked last year in a consultation on planning changes, 65% of the 171 responses said third-party rights should remain.

A further question asked whether restrictions should be placed on this right; 42% of respondents said there should be no restriction, whilst 37% said it should be limited to ‘genuinely affected neighbours’. The rest (21%) did not vote.

Mr Shimmins is calling for a review of this feedback, and will ask the DEFA Minister in Tynwald today what consultation was undertaken with stakeholders prior to removal of their status.

Local Democracy Reporter Ewan Gawne asked Mr Shimmins if what’s happened was fair on the public:


  • Shimin interested


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