OVER 28 per cent of appeals against Bradford Council planning decisions were successful last year - potentially costing the taxpayer thousands of pounds.

In the 2017/18 financial year, over 84 decisions to refuse planning applications went to the appeal process. The decision was overturned by a planning inspector in 24 of these cases. The 28.6 per cent success rate of the appeals meant the Council failed to meet its target - 26 per cent.

The figures are revealed in a report on the Council’s performance in planning matters, which will be discussed by the authority’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee tomorrow.

Anyone who submits a planning application that is then refused has the right to appeal that decision. A government planning inspector then looks at the Council’s decision and whether the authority was right to make that decision.

If the appeal is successful, the Council may have to pay costs to the appellant.

In the 12 months covered by the report, appeals that were overturned included three applications for houses, one for a shop, 13 for making changes to an existing house, one for advertising consent, one for a change of use and five for “other minor developments.”

The percentage of successful appeals is up from the previous year - in 2016/17 there were 77 appeal decision against the refusal of planning permission 18 of which, 23 per cent, were allowed.

Between 2015 and 2017 the Council was ordered to pay £37,000 in costs to developers after planning inspectors overturned Council decisions.

Recent high profile appeal decisions that went against the council include plans for 23 houses on land off Kings Drive in Wrose.

The application, by Simon Holdsworth, was refused by Bradford Council in February, with Councillors saying there were too many concerns about the cumulative effect the development would have on traffic. The Council’s own officers had recommended the plans for approval.

After an appeal, planning inspector Alison Partington said the Council was “unreasonable” to refuse the plans.

The report also shines a light on the scale of the work the planning service deals with each year.

There were 3,328 applications received by the Council in the 12 month period, of which 84 were classed as “major applications.”

Most applications, 96 per cent, were decided by planning officers at the Council. Planning panels and committees made the final decision on 128 applications, including many of the most contentious ones.

The Regulatory and Appeals Committee, which will discuss this report, decided on many of the biggest applications making decisions on 40 planning applications over 40 hours worth of meetings last year.

The report also reveals that last year the Council received 246 applications to work on trees in conservation areas, and four complaints about the height of hedges.

The committee meets in Bradford City Hall at 1.30pm.