BRADFORD Council has paid out more than £37,000 to developers in the last three years after decisions were overturned by the Government's planning inspectorate.

The authority was ordered to pay costs relating to six different planning appeals between 2015 and 2017, although only three resulted in payments being claimed.

Of the pay outs, the largest single amount was for £19,531.60 and related to a bid to change the use of a shop unit in Shipley town centre.

The application, which dates back to 2015, was initially refused by the Council amid concerns that turning a key corner retail store into an amusement arcade and tanning salon would be harmful to the viability of the shopping area.

Following an appeal, the planning inspector overturned the Council's decision believing that the new use of 10 Market Square would not "have any adverse impact on footfall along the street, particularly as it would merely replace an existing use two properties away in the same parade".

In addition the planning inspector agreed that costs could be recovered as the applicant, in relocating from a nearby shop unit, had offered to sign an agreement precluding its existing premises returning to an amusement centre use.

Details of all the planning appeal cost applications in the last three years were released to the Telegraph & Argus under Freedom of Information rules.

There were 13 bids to recover appeal costs in total between 2015 and 2017, and of these four were allowed, two were partially-allowed, and one is still pending.

Over the same time period there were also six instances where a developer was refused in its bid to claim costs from the authority. In four of the cases planning permission was granted as a result of the appeal, although the Council was not found to have acted unreasonably resulting in unnecessary expense to the applicant.

A Bradford Council spokesperson, said: “These three costs awards against the council relate to the appeals from just three planning applications out of over ten thousand applications dealt with by the Council in the same time period. Of those planning applications that go to appeal, around 70 per cent are found in our favour, which is well within the government requirements.”

In 2016/17 the Council received 3,525 planning applications in total, with 3,244 determined by officers under delegated powers. In addition 118 were determined at a planning panel and a further 37 applications were determined at the Council's regulatory and appeals committee.

In addition the authority received a total of 77 appeal decision against the refusal of planning permission during 2016/17, where 18 appeals were allowed. This equates to 23 per cent of appeals going against the Council, which is below the target of 26 per cent for that year.

Full details of the planning appeal costs awarded in cases involving Bradford Council between 2015-2017 were:

*£19,531.60 awarded against the Council following a written appeal into the change of use from retail to amusement centre at Market Square, Shipley, in September 2015.

*£10,879.50 awarded against the Council following a two-day hearing into the construction of a single detached dwelling at Whiddon Croft, Menston, Ilkley, in February 2016.

*£7,341.30 awarded against the Council following a written appeal into the construction of an A3 to A5 industrial unit and 76 car parking spaces at the former Wiltex House, Odsal Road, Bradford, in June 2015.