Our Planning Consultants deal with many planning appeals, for all forms of development (both Public and Private Sector) and we pride ourselves on assessing planning decisions and providing realistic advice to clients on the merits of whether an appeal is appropriate and/ or the appropriateness of a local authority defending a decision to refuse consent.
As we stive to provide comprehensive advice on all aspects of the planning process, we understand that those considering whether to appeal a decision often have questions about planning appeals. In this frequently asked questions blog, we aim to address some of the common queries that arise when navigating the planning appeals process. Explore the following FAQ’s to gain a better understanding of how planning appeals work and how our experts can assist you in this journey.
Q: What are the main types of planning appeals?
A: There are three main types of planning appeals:
Appeals following the refusal of planning permission and/or listed building consent.
Appeals when the local council fail to determine an application within the statutory period.
Appeal following service of an enforcement notice.
Q: What types of applications can be appealed?
A: Any type of planning or listed building application can be appealed, including full permission, householder permission, listed building consent, and advertising consent.
Q: What are the different procedures for handling appeals?
A: There are three procedures for handling planning appeals:
Written Representations: The majority of appeals are determined through the written representation process, where both parties provide written statements.
Informal Hearing: Procedure managed by the appointed Inspector who will set the agenda and table questions.
Public Inquiry : Complex cases may be determined via Inquiry to thoroughly test the evidence.
Q: Should I appeal and how to appeal a planning decision?
A: An impossible question to answer as every case is different. Before considering an appeal it is essential that the merits of appeal are considered by a planning consultant or specialist planning solicitor/barrister. An appeal should be the last resort; if an approval can be negotiated locally then this is generally a quicker option.
Q: Is there a time limit for submitting an appeal?
A: Yes, the time limit for submitting an appeal depends on the type of application. For planning/listed building applications, you have six months from the date of refusal or the date the application should have been determined. For householder applications, the deadline is 12 weeks following the date of decision. Note: different timelines apply to Enforcement Appeals (Appeal before the notice takes effect) and Advertisement Appeals (8 weeks).
Q: How long does a planning appeal take?
A: There is no set timeline for appeal decisions. The Planning Inspectorate own statistics confirm that written representation appeals take around 37 (time period form submission of valid appeal to issue of decision). Informal hearings 45 weeks and Public Inquires 34 weeks. Enforcement appeals generally take much longer. Current backlogs within the Planning Inspectorate can result in longer timelines.
Q: Can I challenge a dismissed planning appeal?
A: If a planning appeal refusal decision is received there may be grounds for a planning appeal. Once an appeal decision is issued, the Planning Inspectorate cannot change it, other than minor technical corrections. If a party disagrees with the Inspectors Decision to dismiss the planning appeal, then it is possible to seek judicial review (JR). A successful challenge generally requires that the claimant demonstrates that the Inspector (or Secretary of State) has erred in law. i.e. misinterpreted or misapplied the law or policy. As such, a JR challenge based on the claimant questioning an inspector ‘judgment’ on an issue rarely succeed.
Q: What planning appeal costs apply?
A: There are no fees payable to the Planning Inspectorate for an appeal against a refusal of permission. Fees are however payable for enforcement appeals. The appellant will incur costs in the engagement of a consultants required to represent the appellant.
Q: What are the planning appeal costs and can they be recovered if the appeal allowed?
A: Both the appellant and local authority have the right to make a cost claim. Costs can be awarded against any party who have behaved unreasonably. Cost awards are however limited to the cost of lodging the appeal (professional fees). They are not punitive and do not cover the appellants loss resulting from the delay in determination.
Q: What are the chance of success ?
A: Every case is determined on its merits and thus without a detailed review of the issues it is impossible to provide an accurate assessment of the likelihood of success. By way of guidance; of all appeals submitted around 30% are allowed.
Deciding whether to lodge a planning appeal requires careful consideration. In all cases we recommend that your professional advisors review the case and provide guidance upon the options open to you. This may be to re-submit an application or to appeal (or sometimes both).
The planning appeal system provides recourse when your application has been refused or is subject to excessive determination delay. Understanding the appeal process, adhering to timelines, and building a strong case are essential for a successful appeal.