Planning Appeals

An applicant can appeal if:

  • A planning application has been refused
  • No decision had been made on a planning application within the statutory period
  • The applicant does not agree with one or more of the conditions attached to a grant of planning permission

Who Can Appeal?

Only the applicant can make an appeal.

There is no right of appeal for interested persons or ‘third parties’. For example, someone who has objected to a planning application does not have the right to appeal if the proposal is granted.

Appeals can be time consuming and expensive. Before you decide to appeal, it is worth speaking to the planning officer who dealt with your application to see if there is a compromise, as you may be able to submit an amended proposal.

Is there a time limit?

Yes, appeals in relation to householder applications must be made within 12 weeks of the date of the decision. The time period for all other types of development is 6 months.

How do I appeal?

You can appeal online via the Planning Portal. Alternatively you can download the forms from the Planning Inspectorate or the Planning Portal website. The forms can also be obtained from the Planning Inspectorate, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN.

What is the Planning Inspectorate?

The Planning Inspectorate is part of the central government Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG). It is a body of independent inspectors who make decisions on appeals.

Types of Appeal

There are three ways an appeal can be dealt with:

  1. Written Representations – This is the quickest method. The appellant and the Council prepare written statements. An Inspector will visit the site and then issue a decision.
  2. Informal Hearing – There is an exchange of written statements, similar to the written representations procedure. Following this, there is a discussion of the planning issues between the Council and appellant led by an Inspector.
  3. Public Inquiry – This is the most complex procedure. Each side presents their case verbally before an inspector and witnesses for each side can be cross-examined by opposing parties. It normally involves professional representation and complex arguments. It is the most lengthy and expensive procedure.

How is a decision made?

For all types of appeal, an inspector will consider the arguments and come to a decision. The decision is issued in the form of a letter that states what the decision is and the reasons why it has been reached. The letter is issued by the Planning Inspectorate. The applicant and the Council automatically receive a copy. Third parties receive a copy on request.

After the decision

Once the decision has been issued, the Inspector has no further involvement. The decision cannot be changed.

If you have any complaints or questions about the decision or the way the Planning Inspectorate has handled the appeal you can contact them using the following details:

Planning Inspectorate Contact Details
Write to them The Planning Inspectorate, Quality Assurance Unit, 4/09 Kite Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol.  BS1 6PN
Telephone: 0117 372 85252

The High Court

The only way to challenge a decision is through the High Court. However, a decision cannot be challenged just because you disagree with the Inspector’s decision. It has to be shown that the Inspector has misinterpreted the law or that procedures have not been followed properly, to such an extent that it has affected the decision.

If a mistake has been made and the court decides that it might have affected the outcome of the appeal, the case is returned to the Planning Inspectorate for it to be reconsidered.

Any challenge must be made within 42 days (6 weeks) of the date of the decision. This period cannot be extended.

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