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Planning appeals

Current and recent appeals

When can an appeal be made?

In the following circumstances an applicant has the right to appeal against the decision of the Local Planning Authority.

  • If your application has been refused by the Local Planning Authority.
  • If your application has been granted with conditions you think are inappropriate.
  • If the Local Planning Authority does not give notice of the decision within the statutory period.

These rights of appeal apply to all types of planning application. In addition there is also a right of appeal if you have been served with an enforcement notice against an alleged breach of planning control and consider that you have grounds to appeal against it.

Who can make an appeal?

In England and Wales, a Planning Appeal can only be made by the same applicant whose planning application has been refused or to whom an enforcement notice has been served. If preferred, an agent may act on his/her behalf. Third parties, such as neighbours who have objected to a planning application, have no right to appeal.

Should I appeal?

In all cases, you are advised to look carefully at the reasons why the permission was refused, condition was imposed or notice served. Before submitting an appeal, it is important to discuss the issues with the relevant case officer to see if any matters can be resolved without going to appeal. In the case of a refusal of permission, it may be possible to resolve the problem by making suitable modifications to the original proposal. Often there is no fee if you re-submit an application within a year.

Who deals with appeals?

All appeals are administered by the Planning Inspectorate [external link], which is an executive agency of the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government MHCLG [external link]. An inspector is appointed to independently look at the merits of the case and the issues put forward by the person(s) making the appeal, the Local Planning Authority and any interested parties. The decision on the appeal is final, subject only to challenge in the High Court on a point of law.

What is the time limit for making an appeal?

  • For standard appeals (Planning Permission, Listed Building Consent and Conservation Area Consent) it is important that the Planning Inspectorate receives all appeal documents within 6 months from the date of the decision notice.
  • For Advertisement appeals it is important that the Planning Inspectorate receives all appeal documents within 8 weeks from the date of the decision notice.
  • For enforcement notice appeals (including Listed Building and Conservation Area enforcement appeals) it is important that the Planning Inspectorate receives all appeal documents before the date on which the Notice takes effect ('the effective date').

Where can I get the appropriate forms?

Appeal forms are available from the Planning Inspectorate. It is important when requesting forms from the Inspectorate that you mention what type of appeal you are making, as there are different forms for each type of appeal. If you are downloading the form from the website it is important to read the notes carefully to ensure that you are selecting the correct form.

How long does an appeal take?

Around 80% of appeals are dealt with by 'Written Representations', the quickest method, which usually takes around 16 weeks for planning appeals and 32 weeks for enforcement appeals. However, both the appellant and the Local Planning Authority have the right to have the appeal heard by a person appointed by the Secretary of State in the form of a hearing or a public inquiry. In this case, the average time taken is 30 weeks for planning appeals and 33-43 weeks for enforcement appeals.

What will the Local Planning Authority do?

When an appeal is lodged, the Local Planning Authority will notify all those who made representations on the original application to enable them to make any further representations should they so wish. This correspondence must be sent to the Planning Inspectorate who will copy them to the appellant and the Local Planning Authority. The letter will set out the strict timetable for the appeal and if letters are late they may not be taken into account by the inspector.

Please note that in the case of a householder application, in the event of an appeal that proceeds by way of the expedited procedure, any representations made about the application will be passed to the Secretary of State and there will be no opportunity to make further representations.

The Local Planning Authority will produce a statement outlining its case which will be available for inspection by members of the public. Due to the tight deadlines of an appeal, it is advisable for those wishing to make comments not to delay their comments in anticipation of the Council's statement.

The decision on the appeal is final, subject only to challenge in the High Court on a point of law.

Where can I find more information on making an appeal?

Brief details on the right to appeal are sent with the decision notice or enforcement notice. Detailed information in respect of planning appeals can be found on the Planning Inspectorate website. As an alternative, the Planning Inspectorate Customer Support Unit and Customer Support Line Service provides a single point of contact to access all Planning Inspectorate services.

For more information about making an appeal or the functions of the Planning Inspectorate please visit the Planning Inspectorate website [external link].