Handling environmental appeals through hearings or local inquiries: code of practice

Planning and Environmental Appeals Division code of practice on procedures for handling environmental appeals.


24. The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 (section 210) enables Scottish Ministers to make awards to any party in relation to expenses they have incurred through the appeal proceedings, to be paid by another party. This code of practice sets out the criteria that DPEA will apply in exercising that power. Parties to environmental appeals will normally be expected to pay their own expenses. An appellant will not be awarded expenses simply because the appeal is successful, nor will SEPA be awarded expenses simply on the grounds that the appeal is dismissed. Awards of expenses will only be made in exceptional cases where a party to the appeal has, in the opinion of the reporter, acted unreasonably and, as a result, has caused unnecessary expense for the party making the claim.

25. In cases where a hearing session or inquiry session is held, an application for an award of expenses should be made before the end of the hearing session or inquiry session.

26. An award of expenses can be made only in relation to the costs of the appeal to DPEA. It cannot take the form of a compensation payment for matters such as loss of business during the proceedings, reputational damage or any other impacts not directly linked to the proceedings themselves.

27. An award of expenses will not necessarily mean that a claimant will receive the full cost of the proceedings. Any award made will relate to the amount of the expenses that have been incurred as a result of the unreasonable behaviour. While this might sometimes mean the full cost of the appeal is awarded, in most cases it will lead to a partial award. Where a partial award is made, the extent of the award will be clearly explained.


Email: Central Enquiries Unit ceu@gov.scot

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