Planning Court Costs: Practice Direction 54D



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What is the Planning Court?

The Planning Court is a specialist Court within the Queen’s Bench Division based at the Royal Courts of Justice, part of the Administrative Court. The planning Court deals mainly with challenges to planning decisions and carries out Judicial reviews of decisions made by planning authorities. The issues they deal with includes appeals and applications relating to Civil Procedure Rule 54.21 and Practice Direction 54E, which includes the following:

  • Development consent
  • Planning permission
  • Compulsory purchase orders (CPO)
  • EU environmental legislation decisions
  • Highways and rights of way 

It is important to note that strict time limits are now applied to planning cases due to the need to deal with them more swiftly.


Practice Direction 54D: Planning Court Costs

Under Practice Direction 54D, the Court may award a costs order for a planning case in specific circumstances.

Under section 4.20, regarding the failure to file an acknowledgement of service;

“Where that person takes part in the hearing of the planning statutory review, the court may take the failure to file an acknowledgment of service into account when deciding what order to make about costs.”

In relation to attendance at a Permission Hearing, under Section 4.30;

“Where the defendant or any party does attend a hearing, the court will not generally make an order for costs against the claimant.”

In relation to appeals to the Planning Court, under section 6.10 of Practice Direction 54D;

“Where the court grants permission—

(a)it may impose terms as to costs and as to giving security;”

The Court has full discretion when awarding costs in a planning case and may, for example, in a planning appeal case, award costs to one party if the other party has behaved unreasonably.

Unreasonable behaviour can include the following:

  • Failure to co-operate with you or other parties involved in the planning application
  • Missing deadlines
  • Failure to attend site visits, hearings or inquiries
  • Giving incorrect information or declaring information after a certain deadline 

Recovering Planning Court Costs

If an Order of Costs has been made in favour of a party, the Court may make an order to proceed to detailed assessment so that the receiving party can recover their costs.

In these circumstances, the Receiving Party will be responsible for initiating the process of detailed assessment.

To initiate detailed assessment proceedings, the Receiving Party (the party to whom the costs order was made in favour of) will be required to draft a bill of costs and serve it upon the Paying Party alongside a Notice of Commencement. The bill of costs should detail the amount of costs which the receiving party seeks to recover from the paying party on an item-by-item basis to allow scrutiny.

If the Paying Party do not agree with any of the costs listed within the bill of costs, they should prepare and send their Points of Dispute within 21 days to negotiate the level of cots.

The Receiving Party may further negotiate their position using Points of Reply and parties should attempt to reach an agreement before proceeding to a Detailed Assessment Hearing to avoid costs of detailed assessment escalating.

How can ARC Costs Assist?

ARC Costs can assist with the costs of any claims made under CPR Part 54 in relation to a Planning Court Case.

We regularly prepare Bills of Costs on behalf for Receiving Parties and advise on what costs are likely to be recoverable. We can negotiate with the Paying Party on your behalf and proceed with the costs claim until recovery of your costs, even if this is required through enforcement.

Similarly if a costs award has been made against you, we can assist you in disputing this award if you feel it was unfairly made. Furthermore, we can assist in disputing any costs which you deem to be unreasonable by using legal statutes and common law to dispute the reasonableness of costs being claimed.

To discuss your costs claim further, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01204 397302 or Alternatively, you may complete our online enquiry form.




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01204 397302

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