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What is a planning appeal?

The most common type of planning appeal is appeals against the refusal of planning permission, but appeals can be lodged in other circumstances:

  •  where an application is granted  subject to conditions the applicant considers unreasonable; or
  • where the application is not decided within the time allowed - 8 weeks from receipt of the application (minor applications), 13 weeks for major applications, or 16 weeks in the case of applications requiring environmental assessments. Generally if you are considering lodging such an appeal against non-determination it is worthwhile contacting the officer dealing with the application to find out the cause of the delay and whether it can be resolved without needing to go to appeal; or
  • where the local planning authority rejects details of a proposal, following grant of outline permission or as a requirement of a condition; or
  • where the applicant believes that the local planning authority demands more information relating to an outline application than is appropriate; or 
  • where there is a dispute between the applicant and the planning authority whether sufficient information has been supplied to register and determine a planning application

Planning appeals are dealt with by the Planning Inspectorate, an independent government agency which has been set up to deal with planning appeals and related matters. Further information on planning appeals can be accessed from the Planning Inspectorate’s Planning Appeals website.  On this page you will find the guidance and information needed to make a planning appeal. It includes a procedural guide to the appeal process.

There are deadlines for making planning appeals. A full list of these is in the procedural guide.

An appeal must be made on the appropriate form (there are different forms for different types of appeal including householder appeals, other planning appeals, listed building appeals and enforcement appeals). Most appeals can be submitted electronically via the Planning Portal website.  Also, paper forms are available from the Planning Inspectorate if you do not wish to lodge your appeal electronically.

When appealing or commenting on an appeal you need to make sure that you express your views clearly, succinctly and logically. It may be helpful to include further illustrative material, such as plans and photographs. The Inspector dealing with the appeal will be considering government planning guidance and the relevant Development Plan, so as an applicant your appeal needs to explain why your proposal complies with these or, if it does not, why it should be allowed as an exception. If you are commenting on somebody else's appeal you would want to explain why the proposal does not comply with the relevant Development Plan and government guidance. When communicating with the Planning Inspectorate regarding an appeal, it is important to include the appeal's seven-digit reference number, so your communication can be put on the correct file.

You should be aware that all comments on appeals are publicly available.

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