Discrimination on any grounds is unlawful according to Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.
In 2003 a WAG member heard Wealden's then principle solicitor, advise a planning meeting that they could not take enforcement action to prevent Anne Harris living in her mobile home, since this would constitute discrimination..............
In another case two WAG members heard the head of the legal services department direct a planning committee by saying "we don't want to give permission to this applicant." This kind of behavior is illegal under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act. The solicitor advising his members knew it was, as did the members, but nobody stood up to say it was, or declare the meeting an unlawful assembly.
The Local Government Ombudsman cleared this up in 1996 when he reported: "The identity of an applicant and the ownership of a site are not material planning considerations." "Members should consider planning issues only."
It follows that when the identity of an applicant or his or her ownership is brought to the table when considering planning issues, by introducing other issues which may sway the members to a different decision, any decision reached by the members may be void.
Sadly, officers of many Council's routinely disregard the direction of the LGO. They use any bit of gossip to blacken the character of an applicant. Sometimes they suggest another organisation have an interest in the applicant or site such as to make councillors believe they should be judging the applicant and his or her morals. THAT IS WRONG AND PERVERSE!
We hope many more members of the public take Councils and Councillors to task by means of Judicial Review or to seek damages, or other corrective Orders to restore their civil rights in the County or High Courts. SEE the caselaw pages for guidance as to precedent. Also see the example application to the High Court, seeking leave to for a Judicial Review.