Planning Appeals

Planning Appeals are managed and determined by the Planning Inspectorate based in Bristol. The Planning Inspectorate is an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Communities and Local Government. There is generally no fee for making an appeal. 

Planning applications can be appealed, if you as the applicant, disagree with the decision of the local planning authority (LPA) or if the application wasn’t determined within 8 weeks (for a typical householder development) or 13 weeks for major developments.

Planning Appeals follow a very strict process and timeframe. During the process, the appellant and the Local Authority will be expected to provide information to support their cases. The Planning Inspectorate will consider all the material planning considerations that are relevant, including from those who might have made comments on relevant planning applications.

There are no third-party rights of appeal. This mean as a neighbour or member of the public who have made representations against an application, and the planning permission was granted by the LPA, you cannot appeal that decision. Decision notices will include information on your rights of appeal and the time period within which you must submit the appeal.

planning appeals, planning applications, planning permission

Types of Appeals
Please note there are several types of appeals. We have only listed a few:

Planning Appeals (other than a householder application)
If you decide to lodge an appeal following the refusal of planning permission, it must be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate within 6 months of the date of the decision. Failing to do this will result in your right of appeal being lost. It should take around 28 weeks, but this is not always the case (from submission to decision). For this type of appeal, different procedures are available. All listed below under appeal procedures. 

Householder Appeal
This is for planning applications which relates to development associated with a house such as extensions of a roof alteration. The majority of planning appeals for householder applications are dealt with by the householder appeal process, a streamlined and faster process. Appeals must be made within 12 weeks of the date your planning permission has been refused or you will lose your right of appeal. It should take 14 weeks (from submission to decision).

Enforcement Appeals
When a breach of planning control has occurred, and the Local Authority has decided it is expedient to take action to remedy the breach, an enforcement notice will be served. You will be required to take steps within a certain period of the notice taking effect (usually 28 days from when it was first served). If you wish to appeal an enforcement notice, call us immediately. An appeal has to be submitted 28 days of the serving of the notice.

If you decide not to appeal, you will have to comply with the requirements of the notice or otherwise risk prosecution for non-compliance. For this type of appeal, different procedures (listed below under appeal procedures) are available, determined by the complexity of the issues, as a result of the requirements set out within the notice. 

Listed Building Appeals
If you have been refused listed building consent, you can appeal the decision or even appeal if there are conditions on a consent that you consider to be unreasonable. The process is like that used in a planning appeal and will often be combined with the associated planning application appeal.

You must appeal within 6 months of either the date of the decision or when the decision was due. From submission to decision takes approximately 24 weeks.

Lawful Development Certificate Appeals
If you are seeking to establish that your development or use of a property/building/structure is lawful by virtue of the time that has elapsed since it has been used or built, the onus is on you, the applicant, to prove ‘on the balance of probability’ that the development or use is lawful. There is normally no deadline against appealing a decision unless you’re appealing an application about a listed building lawful development certificate. Such an appeal must be submitted within 6 months and you’ll normally get a decision within 39 weeks.

If is important to note that if you’ve already been given an enforcement notice, do not appeal otherwise you will incur additional costs.

Please note timetables for appeals are not set in stone and depends on workloads.

Appeal Procedures
Planning appeals can be dealt with by the Planning Inspectorate in the following 3-ways (procedures).

Written Representation
This is the most frequent and less time-consuming way of dealing with planning appeals. Written Statements are prepared by the appellant and the Council setting out their case. These statements are considered by a Planning Inspector who will also visit the site.

Informal Hearing
Hearings take the form of an informal round table discussion between the Planning Inspector, the Council and the appellant. Occasionally third parties will be afforded the opportunity to have their say as well.

Public Inquiry
A more formal process where evidence is presented to a Planning Inspector by the parties involved in the appeal. Participants are normally legally represented, and witnesses will be cross-examined on their evidence. Again, third parties may be involved in the process.

If a planning appeal is allowed, the Council's decision has been overruled (proposal is approved). However, if an appeal is dismissed, it means the Planning Inspector agrees with the Council's decision (refuse the application).

If you do not agree with the Inspectors decision you can appeal to the High Court (on a point of law). You will be liable for your own costs, however, an application for costs can be made if you feel the Council’s behaviour has resulted in you incurring unnecessary costs.