Within the realm of planning law, a multitude of individuals turn to legal precedents as a rhetorical arsenal to contest the receipt of their perceived entitlements. As a corollary, when an outcome diverges from that of another, the reflexive impulse is to ascribe such disparities to the spectre of discrimination.

Contrariwise, those endowed with a heightened cognizance of planning law posit a different narrative. They elucidate that the crux of the matter resides within the ambit of ‘surrounding legal commitment’. This assertion finds substantial anchoring in the very fabric of Article 72(2)(d) of the Development Planning Act, where the law ordains the cognizance of decision makers toward this tenet in their adjudication of commitments.

The precise purport of ‘having regard’ thereof in Arcticle 72(2) is exhaustively expounded in my book titled ‘Selected Principles of Planning Law‘, and it is not my present intent to embark upon its elucidation here.

The scope of this discourse concerns itself with the notion that the potency of ‘surrounding legal commitment’ can wield transformative effects, especially in the context of planning permits. Many writings have carried my thoughts on this topic, yet I have resolved to pen  another exposition, one that is uniquely tailored to instances where ‘commitment’ emerges as the pivotal variable within the equation of decision. You can find this short publication here.