Ms Justine Thornton QC, sitting as Deputy High Court Judge, has quashed the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham’s grant of planning permission for a new hotel, ‘The Hoxton’, on Shepherds Bush Green.
Local resident, Sabine Guerry, successfully argued that the daylight effects of the new building on her property and her neighbours’ properties on Pennard Road had not been properly assessed.
The developer’s assessment had misapplied the methodology in the Building Research Establishment’s ‘Site Layout Planning for Daylight and Sunlight: A Guide to Good Practice’.
Members were not told that the reduction in the daylight distribution of a property was a reason why daylight in the Pennard Road properties may be adversely affected, in addition to reductions in Vertical Sky Component. They were not informed of the daylight distribution losses whereas, in contrast, daylight distribution compliance was drawn to Members’ attention as a reason for them to take comfort in the overall reduction in the amount of daylight at the relevant properties.
It was noted that none of this appeared to be the fault of the planning officer who simply repeated the analysis put before him in the developer’s report.
The judgment follows another recent decision where a planning permission was quashed on the basis of misapplication of the BRE methodology, R (Rainbird) v London Borough of Tower Hamlets  EWHC 657 (Admin).
These decisions serve as a salutary lesson to developers that technical reports need to apply methodologies comprehensively and selective presentation of the results can ultimately lead to decision-makes being “significantly misled” in the context of the test in R (Mansell) v Tonbridge and Malling BC  EWCA Civ 1314.
Annabel Graham Paul acted for the successful Claimant, instructed by Lisa Foster of Richard Buxton Environment and Public Law. Cain Ormondroyd acted for the Defendant, the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.