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The Planning Appeals Process - What you need to know in England & Wales?

Updated: Apr 21

If your application has been refused, whether it relates to Planning Permission, Listed Building Consent or one of the many other application types, then you have two options. Firstly, you can amend your application to respond to any reasons or concerns raised by the Local Planning Authority and resubmit or if you feel that the refusal is unjust, you can appeal the decision.

For many people, appealing against a planning refusal can prove to be a highly stressful undertaking, not to mention a complicated, lengthy and costly process; so, allow us at Salmon Planning to answer some of the most frequently asked questions and help ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible for you.

There are a few basic conditions that you must ensure are met before beginning the process of appealing. First and foremost, you’ll need to make sure you are eligible to appeal a decision made by a Local Planning Authority.

Who has the right to appeal a planning application rejection?

Although third parties can participate in the appeal decision-making process, only the applicant, or an agent on behalf of the applicant, can appeal against a refusal.

Should I make a planning appeal?

Depending on the strength of the case, an appeal can be an excellent option for gaining consent following the refusal of an application by the Local Planning Authority and, when appropriately managed, has a good chance of success. It is worth taking advice from a chartered planning consultant such as Salmon Planning when deciding whether to appeal a decision or reapply for Planning Permission to ensure that you are making the right decision for your specific circumstances.

Can I appeal against a grant of Planning Permission?

There is no right of appeal for third parties (such as objectors), but exceptionally, the granting of permission can be challenged by an interested party via Judicial Review through the High Court.

In addition, the applicant, or their agent, a chartered planning consultant, can appeal against a grant of Planning Permission containing conditions they think are unnecessary, unenforceable, vague, unreasonable, or irrelevant.

Seeking the advice of a chartered planning consultant, such as Salmon Planning, will provide professional and objective guidance on whether to undertake an appeal or not. This can relate to a refusal to gain permission or any conditions imposed on an approval. Advice will also be given on the costs and risks involved. If you choose to submit an appeal application, we recommend bringing in a professional agent to act on your behalf from the outset, as costs can be awarded for the unreasonable pursuit of an appeal.

It's a good idea to enlist the help of a chartered planning consultant to ensure that you satisfy the rigorous procedural requirements for making a planning appeal. A planning expert will help you understand more about the appeal process so that you can decide whether to lodge an appeal and successfully navigate the complicated planning system.

Who decides an appeal?

The Planning Inspectorate decides planning appeals on behalf of the Secretary of State. You can find more information from the Inspectorate on this government website.

What are the procedures involved in appealing?

To begin an appeal, an application is submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. This application consists of:

  • An Appeal Form alongside supporting documents, including relevant appendices and

  • A Statement of Case.

Once submitted, The Planning Inspectorate will confirm the procedure the appeal will follow, the official appeal start date and the proposed timetable for the appeal. Most cases are decided by written representation, selective cases are decided at hearings, and only the most complex cases are decided at a Public Inquiry.

How long does the planning appeal process take in England & Wales?

There are no set timescales for appeals to be decided.

As a guide, the following timescales have been issued by The Planning Inspectorate:

  • Written Representations: 38 weeks

  • Hearings: 42 weeks

  • Inquiries: 57 weeks

  • Householder Appeals: 22 weeks.

In most cases, applicants have 6 months from the date of a planning decision to submit an appeal, but for some applications, the timescale is shorter; for example, for a house extension, the planning appeal must be lodged within 12 weeks.

Once the process has concluded, a decision will be made by The Inspectorate and issued to all interested parties.

Further detailed guidance can be found here.

How much does it cost to appeal a rejected planning application?

There is no statutory fee for submitting an appeal. However, if you choose to do so, there will be costs involved in drafting and submitting all relevant documentation and the associated costs of hiring a professional representative, such as Salmon Planning to handle your appeal. Costs will vary from case to case, but a chartered planning consultant will best guide you on the likely cost implications of your planning appeal.

If I win a planning appeal, can I recover my costs?

The presumption is that all participants in an appeal cover their own costs. However, when the Local Planning Authority has acted unreasonably in refusing permission or imposing unreasonable conditions, there can be grounds for recovering the costs incurred in pursuing an appeal, even if the planning appeal is dismissed.

Who can I use to represent me for a planning appeal?

Whilst anyone can represent someone at appeal, a chartered planning consultant such as Salmon Planning is best placed to do so. With extensive knowledge of the planning system and appeals process, they can submit, monitor and represent you throughout the appeal process.

We highly recommend choosing a chartered planning consultant to represent you. The decision-making body for appeals operates at a national level (The Planning Inspectorate); therefore, local knowledge is not a prerequisite for the successful outcome of an appeal. We also recommend ensuring that the planning consultant you choose is a member of the RTPI, to ensure the quality of the guidance that you receive.

And finally, to provide a little context for you as you consider your options to move forward with your application.

What are the chances of a planning appeal succeeding?

Nationally, approximately 30% of all appeals are successful. A chartered planning consultant will advise on the likely success of an appeal and guide you through the process to ensure the best outcome.

At Salmon Planning Company, based in the South West, we have an excellent reputation for handling and winning appeals. We would be delighted to discuss your application and potential for appeal with you.

Contact Salmon Planning here to let us know more about your case.


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