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Planning Appeals

Planning appeals are dealt with by the Planning Inspectorate. Appeal forms and further information are available to view from their website, and information will be sent to applicants or their agent with any decision notice. Please note that there is no third-party right of appeal - only the applicant or their agent may appeal against a planning decision.

An appeal has been lodged against an application I have commented on

If an application you have commented on is taken to appeal, we will notify you in writing. Please be aware that for householder appeals, there is no opportunity for any party, including the Council, to submit further detailed representations to the Inspector, who will determine the appeal based on the information supplied. For all other planning appeals, further representations must be forwarded directly to the Inspector within the time limits prescribed by them. You will be notified in writing by us of this information.

I want to lodge an appeal against the Council's decision

If you decide to appeal against the decision the Council has made you only have limited time to do so. Full details of the time limits are set out by the Planning Inspectorate, and a sample are listed below:

  • Householder applications: Appeal within 12 weeks of the date of the decision
  • Other applications: Appeal within 6 months of the date of the decision
  • Non-determination: Appeal within 6 months from the expiration of the period the Local Planning Authority had to determine the application.
  • Advertisement Consent: Appeal within 8 weeks of the decision.
  • Lawful Development Certificates: No time limit

Householder applications are dealt with using the Householder Appeals Service. Such appeals should be submitted to the Inspectorate within 12 weeks of the date of the decision, and the Inspectorate aim to deal with such appeals within 8 weeks. You are required to complete an application form and submit your grounds of appeal. The Council is required to complete a questionnaire and submit the details relating to the refusal to the Inspectorate. There is no opportunity for any party, including the Council, to submit further detailed representations to the Inspector, who will determine the appeal based on the information supplied.

For all other application types, an appeal will be dealt with in one of three ways, either by written representation, informal hearing or by a public inquiry. Existing planning appeals can be viewed on the Councils online planning applications system using the Council's original planning application reference number, or through the Planning Inspectorate's online appeals system, using the appeal reference number.

Under the written representations method, you put in writing your grounds for appeal against the Council's decision and submit evidence or facts that you feel support your case. The District Council does the same, explaining why it disagrees with you, and why the original reasons for refusal should be upheld. This will also apply if you appeal against a condition attached to a planning permission. Anyone else who is interested in the appeal, or has been notified of the appeal by the Council, is able to submit representations to the Planning Inspectorate. Each party has an opportunity to comment on the other's statement and evidence, and on third party representations.

An informal hearing is a discussion of the issues in front of an Inspector but without the formality and legal trappings of a full Public Inquiry. Most people opt for written representations as this usually means a quicker decision.

A Public Inquiry is held if the District Council or Secretary of State insists that there are good reasons for one. Details of the procedures involved will be forwarded to you with the appeal forms. An Inspector hears evidence from you, the District Council and any other interested people and there is a chance to cross-examine witnesses. Public Inquiries are usually held in more complex cases where the proposed development has wider implications. The proceedings are similar in some ways to a court of law as each side is normally represented by a solicitor or barrister. The decision usually takes some time to come through after the Inquiry.

In general, appeals can take some time, so it may be worthwhile to try and get an acceptable scheme agreed with the Planning Department. You can apply for advice regarding proposed schemes from the Council prior to submitting formal planning applications through the pre-application/post-decision advice service. The lodging of an appeal has no bearing on the provision of any advice from the Council, although often it is worthwhile awaiting the outcome of an appeal before seeking our advice.