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29 May 2020
The Law Society of Jersey issued guidance regarding the courts' COVID-19 contingency plans, noting that planning appeal hearings have been suspended due to independent inspectors being unable to travel to the island.
New appeals will continue to be processed without the final hearing dates being fixed at this stage. Therefore, parties that wish to appeal a planning decision must meet the usual timeframes as set out below.
Parties that wish to appeal one of the following decisions must complete the Appeal of a Decision Form:
Forms are available from the planning section of the states of Jersey website and must be submitted to the judicial greffe with the applicable fee. Appellants must provide a brief outline of why they disagree with the decision and identify all relevant issues. Any appeal must be submitted within 28 days of the date of the decision (which can be found on the decision notice).
Site notices should continue to be displayed in the normal way for planning appeals. Notices will preferably be posted directly to the site owner for them to display themselves (with all remaining documentation being posted to the agent). In the limited circumstances where this is impossible, site owner's must approach the judicial greffier for specific authorisation from the tribunal for their agent to attend the site for the sole purpose of displaying the site notice, ensuring that they abide by social distancing guidance at all times.
Once an appeal is accepted, appellants have 28 days to submit their statement of case setting out their full argument for appealing, including all supporting evidence and documentation. If the appeal is rejected, the greffe will explain why (eg, a late submission). All involved parties will then receive each other's cases from the greffe and will have 14 days to respond.
The suspension means that planning appeal hearings at this stage will be stalled from the point of appointing an inspector. At this point, the process will be on hold until independent planning inspectors can travel from the United Kingdom to Jersey and therefore will result in the minister's final decisions being ultimately delayed. The standard turnaround time for a decision of 10 weeks from the date of appeal is also likely to increase significantly as a result.
For further information on this topic please contact Jonathan Hughes or Laura Shirreffs at Ogier by telephone (+44 1534 514 000) or email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). The Ogier website can be accessed at www.ogier.com.
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