In the recent case of R (on the application of Wright) v Resilient Energy Severndale Ltd and Forest Dean District Council the Supreme Court has confirmed that a consideration will only be material to the determination of a planning application where it is connected with the proposed use of the land. The case concerned a planning permission for the erection of a wind turbine on agricultural land where the developer promised an annual donation to a local community fund. The Court refused an invitation to "update" the law and held that the donation did not qualify as a material consideration in the determination of the planning application on the grounds that it did not pursue any proper planning purposes and did not fairly and reasonably relate to the development for which permission was sought. The community benefits to be provided were proffered as a general inducement to the Council to grant planning permission and constituted a method of seeking to buy the permission sought, in breach of the principle that planning permission cannot be bought or sold.
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