Appealing a Decision

If you disagree with your council’s decision on your application, or if you have not been given a decision on your application within the agreed determination period, you can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. The Planning Inspectorate are an independent body which will look at your proposals again. Appealing is a time-consuming process so it is worth trying to negotiate with the planning officer who made the decision first.

When you appeal, the Inspector will consider your planning proposal from the very start. They will consider all of the same issues as the council, including the council’s development plan and all other relevant matters.

When can you appeal?
You can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate if the council you applied to has:

• refused your application for planning permission
• has given you planning permission but with planning conditions which you believe are unreasonable
• refused to approve a scheme to which they already gave outline planning permission
• approved the details of a scheme with planning conditions which you believe are unreasonable
• refused your proposal to meet a particular planning condition
• taken longer than 8 weeks (13 weeks for larger schemes) to decide your application
• refused your application to fell/otherwise implicate a protected tree

How long you have to make an appeal depends on the type of planning application you made:

• Householder planning applications – If you have submitted a planning application as a householder, you should submit your appeal within 12 weeks of the date given on your refusal notice. If the council have not made a decision, you have up to 6 months from the end of the period when the decision should have been made. Appeals against planning conditions can be made within up to 6 months from the date of the decision.
• Other planning applications – If you have submitted another type of planning application, such as consent to change a listed building, you must appeal to the Planning Inspectorate within 6 months of the date on the refusal notice. In cases where the council have not made a decision, you should appeal within 6 months of the end of the initial determination period.
• Appeals relating to works on protected trees: Appeals relating to applications involving protected trees should be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate within 28 days of your receiving the local council’s decision or within 28 days of when the decision should have been received if the council has failed to reach a decision.

The Inspectorate is highly likely to refuse to accept your appeal if it arrives after the allotted time limit so you should make sure to appeal as soon as possible.

Once you have made an appeal, the council will notify everyone who commented on the initial proposal and all other interested parties that you have made the appeal. This notification will include details of how the appeal will be handled and give them a deadline for sending any further representations to the Inspectorate.

What happens next?
The Inspectorate will reconsider your proposal according to how it relates to local and national planning policies. Like applications, all appeals are decided individually in line with your council’s development plan unless there is a good reason not to. The length of time the appeal will take will depend on the complexity of the case before the Inspectorate. You will not have to pay for the appeal but you will be expected to pay your own costs.

How will my appeal be considered?
The majority of appeals are handled on the basis of written statements received from you, the council and any interested third party. The Inspectorate will also visit the site to gain a holistic view of your appeal. In some cases, you or the council may request a public local inquiry or an informal hearing into the appeal. Hearings are usually relaxed and characterised by an open discussion led by the Inspector once written submissions have been received. However, the Inspectorate can decline this request if it will be of no benefit to the process.

What is in an appeal decision?
Once your appeal has been considered you will receive a decision notice from the Inspectorate. The decision notice will briefly restate the facts of your proposal, identify the relevant issues and explore the arguments for and against the proposal. It will then provide a decision on the appeal and explain why the inspector has made the decision.