Peirson House statement

A legal challenge against a Plymouth planning decision has been refused permission to proceed by the Planning High Court after a judge ruled that the proposed grounds for the judicial review were ‘wholly unarguable’ and came close to being ‘certified as totally without merit.’

The Hoe Conservation and Residents Association brought the judicial review claim against the Council in reference to the planning application to demolish Peirson House and replace it with apartments.

But the application for permission to proceed with the judicial review claim was refused by the Planning High Court on 24 February with the judge stating in his decision  that: “The grounds were wholly unarguable and the case came close to being certified as totally without merit.”

The Judge also stated in his reasons that “ it was unacceptable for this claim to have been brought without complying with the pre-action protocol, especially in view of the type of grounds which the claimant has sought to put forward.”

Deputy Leader of the Council Patrick Nicholson said: “This case has cost the Council – and the council taxpayer – significant amounts of money and officer time over several months so I’m pleased that the Judge saw fit to throw out the Judicial Review.

“We hope this result reassures residents that both our Planning Committee and Planning department acted lawfully and takes their responsibilities very seriously.”

The Council was awarded £5,000 costs.


The application was originally considered by the Planning Committee in August 2016 and permission granted in November 2016.

The JR was brought against the Council on the grounds that the Council had:

Failed to require a transport statement and failed to take reasonable steps to understand the highways impacts of the proposals

Made an error as to ineligibility of occupants of proposed development for parking permits

Failed to provide an adequate reason for not requiring a S106 contribution for greenspace in the 2016 planning application