Planning appeals

What is an appeal?

An appeal is a process that allows applicants to get a planning application decision reviewed if they are unhappy with the outcome. Most appeals are determined by Planning Inspectors on behalf of the Secretary of State. The inspector will review the decision of the Local Planning Authority (LPA) and assess the development against local and national planning policies and any other circumstances relevant to the case. They will then decide whether to allow or dismiss the appeal.

What can you appeal?

You can appeal against most planning decisions except Non-Material Amendments (NMAs). You can also appeal against an enforcement notice.

You can appeal on the following grounds:

  • if we refused planning permission
  • if we approved planning permission but subject to conditions that you object to
  • if we did not determine your application within the 8 week deadline (or 13 weeks for major applications) unless we had agreed an extension of time was agreed

Who can appeal? 

Only the applicant or the agent acting on their behalf can appeal. There is no third party right of appeal. If you are affected by a decision but are not the applicant, you cannot appeal. However, you will have the opportunity to comment on the development, if the applicant appeals. 

When to appeal

You must lodge your appeal within strict deadlines following receipt of the decision. The time scale to submit an appeal depends on the type of application. This can range from 8 weeks to 6 months from the date of the planning decision, or 28 days for an appeal against an enforcement notice.

The Procedural Guide - Appeals provided by the Planning Inspectorate gives more detailed information on time scales in section 2.4.

How to appeal

You can appeal a decision through the Planning Inspectorate. You will need to create an account to make, or comment on, an appeal. 

Appeals will follow one of three procedures:

  • written representation
  • hearing
  • inquiry 

The Procedural Guide - Appeals gives more detailed information on these procedures in section 2.1.

How long will it take?

It can take between 10 and 39 weeks to reach a decision on an appeal. This depends on the type of decision you are appealing and the procedure you are appealing under. Appeals that are being made under the hearing or inquiry procedure may take longer.

How much does it cost?

There is no fee to appeal a planning decision. There may be other costs involved if you decide to employ a planning consultant to assist with your appeal. Any such costs are your responsibility.

In some cases costs may be awarded to or against local planning authorities, appellants and interested parties who have taken part in the process, including statutory consultees. This only applies where a party has behaved unreasonably and this has directly caused another party to incur unnecessary or wasted expense.  The award of costs does not include any normal reasonable costs associated with making an appeal.

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