Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Law report - extension of time in planning appeals

Desilva v Minister of Environment Planning and Infrastructure [2012] SC (Bda) 45 App (31 August 2012)

The Appellant had had 21 days to appeal against a planning decision (or such longer period as the Court may allow). He did not in fact appeal until some five months after the 21 days had expired.

He applied to extend time.

Kawaley CJ held that there is no obvious reason in principle why Order 3 rule 5 of the Rules of the Supreme Court should not apply regarding extension of time to appeal. He further held that the right of access to the court should be enjoyed only to the extent that it does not extinguish the right of an opposing party to a fair trial within a reasonable time [13]. There must be a good reason to justify extending time.

It was relevant that the Minister had himself routinely ignored the 21 day limit for filing appeals in the past. This may have led the Appellant and his architect to believe that the rules were relaxed in this context.

The case had some commercial importance to the Appellant, and the level of discretion in extending time was unclear, so time would be extended in this case.

However, the Appellant would be required to pay the Minister's costs

No comments:

Post a Comment