Le Maistre v Island Development Committee

CourtRoyal Court
Judge(Crill, Deputy Bailiff and Jurats Le Quesne and Coutanche):
Judgment Date16 January 1980
Date16 January 1980
(Crill, Deputy Bailiff and Jurats Le Quesne and Coutanche):

M.H. Clapham for the appellant;

H.M. Solicitor General for the respondent.

Administrative Law—Committees of States—judicial review—test whether proceedings sufficient and satisfactory, whether committee empowered by law to make decision and whether decision "reasonable" in all circumstances

Administrative Law—judicial review—scope of "reasonableness"—"reasonableness" of decision more widely interpreted when appeal provided for in legislation—inconsistency, e.g. encouraging planning application followed by refusal of consent, may be unreasonable

Planning Law—planning permission—objections—applicant for planning permission entitled to be informed of relevant objections and have opportunity of refuting them

Planning Law—procedure of Committee—encouragement by Island Development Committee—if applicant encouraged to commit himself to preliminary plans, later refusal of permission inconsistent and unreasonable

CRILL, DEPUTY BAILIFF: This is an appeal by Mr. Jean Le Maistre against the decision of the Island Development Committee of the 3rd August, 1978, refusing consent to the erection of an agricultural shed on part of field 1258 at L'Etacq, St. Ouen. It is accepted that looked at in an agricultural context the area of 2275 square feet allows the shed to be called a small one.

While it is the circumstances that existed at the time of the decision that have to be examined by us, the background to the application cannot be ignored in this particular case. However, whether a father or a son farms a particular field or the family arrangements are changed from time to time as seems best to the persons concerned, are not matters which the Island Development Committee are entitled to take into account in applying the Law which is designed to ensure, inter alia, that land is used in the best interests of the community. Personalities have no place in such considerations. That is to say whether a particular piece of land should have a building on it or not may require the Committee to ascertain in what way it is proposed the land should be used but who is so to use it is irrelevant. Similarly the willingness of the Agricultural and Fisheries Committee to grant loans to enable a farmer to purchase land and equipment is evidence only that that Committee is prepared to do this but it is not binding on the Island Development Committee when it comes to deciding whether, in order to implement the decision, a particular piece of land should be built on. Of course the decision of the Agricultural and Fisheries Committee can be of assistance in determining the proper use to which the land should be put.

It is not, therefore, for us to trace the various changes in the Le Maistre family's plans which stemmed originally from the death of a relation from whom it rented some farm buildings and land in another area of St. Ouen. It is sufficient for our purposes to say that the family endeavoured to arrange their affairs so that the father of the appellant might retire from farming and the appellant, in effect, take his place. At first this was to be by means of building a large agricultural shed on field 1258 and the adjacent field with some dwelling accommodation to house the farm workers who had formerly lived in the rented farm buildings. An application to do this was refused by the Island Development Committee (which hereafter it will be convenient to refer to as the Committee) on the 16th April, 1971. In order to soften the blow Mr. Beaty who was then the Senior Assistant Planning Officer of the Committee wrote to the appellant on the same date. That letter contained, inter alia, the following passage:—

"At the same time, the Committee has expressed the opinion that possibly favourable consideration could be given to a small tastefully designed agricultural building to reflect the basic architectural character of the buildings in the locality but there could be no question of any additional dwelling units at this property."

That passage was repeated in a letter to the appellant from the Chief Executive Officer of the 10th January, 1972. In the end the appellant did not pursue the application, which was, in fact, in his father's name. The letter suggested that the family might have other land which should be used for the same purpose. In the end an application to build on part of field 923 at Grantez, owned also by the family, was refused.

In September, 1977, the appellant relying on the passages in the letters of the 16th April, 1971, and the 10th January, 1972, as well as the verbal assurances he had received from the then President of the...

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10 cases
  • Coopers and Lybrand Deloitte v Island Development Committee
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 26 February 1992
    ...E.R. 278; [1951] 2 T.L.R. 151; [1951] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 45; (1951), 95 Sol. Jo. 413, distinguished. (10) Le Maistre v. Island Dev. Cttee., 1980 J.J. 1, followed. (11) Le Masurier (C.) Ltd. v. Island Dev. Cttee., 1985-86 JLR 164, distinguished. (12) Lever (Fin.) Ltd. v. Westminster (City) Londo......
  • Binet v Island Development Committee
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 31 May 1988
    ...Cttee., 1963 J.J. 593. (2) Blackall & Danby Ltd. v. Island Dev. Cttee., 1963 J.J. 273, followed. (3) Le Maistre v. Island Dev. Cttee., 1980 J.J. 1, followed. (4) Le Masurier (C.) Ltd. v. Island Dev. Cttee., 1985-86 JLR 164, considered. (5) Scott v. Island Dev. Cttee., 1966 J.J. 631, followe......
  • McCarthy v Minister for Planning and Environment
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 12 March 2007
    ...BE8 and B2. Scott v Island Development Committee [1966] JJ 631. Wightman v Island Development Committee [1963] JJ 315. Le Maistre v Island Development Committee [1980] JJ 1. Binet v Island Development Committee [1987-88] JLR 514. Coopers & Lybrand Deloitte v Island Development Committee [......
  • Mesch and Mesch (Née Rivett) v Housing Committee
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 4 October 1990
    ...Council (U.K.), [1957] 2 Q.B. 550; [1957] 2 All E.R. 436; (1957), 101 Sol. Jo. 517, considered. (13) Le Maistre v. Island Dev. Cttee., 1980 J.J. 1. (14) Minister for Aboriginal Affairs v. Peko-Wallsend Ltd., [1987] L.R.C. (Const.) 822, considered. (15) Minister of Natl. Rev. v. Wrights' Can......
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