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Judicial Review

WHAT IS A JUDICIAL REVIEW? Judicial Review (JR) is a legal process that is outside of the planning system. It is used to try to reach a decision when someone is dissatisfied with the way that the planning system has worked or how a council has made a planning decision. A JR would be decided by a judge at the High Court; he/she would hear an application by a council, applicant or an objector to quash or appeal a planning decision. This is also the only route for third parties to challenge the legality of a council's planning decision. For example, the JR could consider misinterpretation of national planning policies by the council or if councillors have not properly declared interests that have influenced the council's decision. If the JR is successful, the issue may be referred back to the council for them to reassess. A council's decision will only normally be 'quashed' if the decision would have been different if mistakes had not been made.


The High Court will only normally consider a JR if:

ยท There is evidence that a legal mistake has been made.

  • The applicant has a clear interest in the decision that has been made.
  • The application for the JR is made within three months of the decision being made.

A NOTE OF CAUTION The JR process is a very expensive one as barristers and solicitors will need to be appointed. The High Court can choose to award costs against the party bringing the case if it is unsuccessful.