Planning magazine reports that a study published by planning consultancy Daniel Watney found that 178 local planning authorities across the UK had paid out almost £12 million in lost planning appeal cost awards since 2010.
Anna Rose, President of the Planning Officers Society, told a magazine reporter that the key reason for the rise in the number of cases was the National Planning Policy Framework's requirement for councils to have a five-year housing land supply.
She said: "I think awards of costs against councils have certainly increased. Most of the appeals in which there are significant costs concern housing sites that are not allocated in emerging plans. The only reason that they're acceptable is because of the lack of a five-year housing land supply. It takes a while for planning committee members to understand that making decisions that are locally popular can lead to significant costs to the council."
If you are found not to have given the five-year housing land supply sufficient weight in the decision, you're considered to have been unreasonable. It's a brutal tool" Rose added.