Kent and Oakley: A Re-Examination of the Common Law Duty to Give Reasons for Grants of Planning Permission and Beyond

24 Aug 2017

1. The Court of Appeal has recently been faced with two important cases that share a similar fact pattern. In both R (Campaign to Protect Rural England, Kent) v Dover District Council [2016] EWCA Civ 936 and Oakley v South Cambridgeshire District Council [2017] EWCA Civ 71 the applicant sought judicial review in order to argue that a local planning authority, in granting planning permission for the development of land, was under and had failed to fulfil a legal duty to provide adequate reasons. In both cases, the Court of Appeal accepted the applicant’s argument, concluding that the local planning authorities, in failing to provide legally adequate reasons, had acted unlawfully.1 2. This article has two main aims. The first is to set out the facts and the judgments of the Court of Appeal in both Kent and Oakley in some detail. The second is then to explore the Court of Appeal’s reasoning in these cases against the backdrop of three important questions.