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Planning appeals

A new criteria for determining which procedure should be used for planning and enforcement appeals will be applied from 6 April 2009. 

All the changes that are being introduced by the Planning Act 2008 are designed to ensure that the appeal process is simpler, easier and more efficient for all the main parties. In order for this to happen, there will be a number of changes that will have to occur. The following websites will provide you with all the information you need on the changes introduced by the Planning Act. 

Planning Inspectorate (external link)
Planning Portal (external link)


If you have submitted an application you have the right of appeal to the Planning Inspectorate if:

  • No decision has been reached within the statutory period for a decision (usually either 8 or 13 weeks from the date the application has been registered)
  • The application has been refused within the last six months
  • You do not agree with any of the conditions attached to an approval of planning permission

At present only the original applicant, or an agent on their behalf, may appeal against the Council’s decision.

There are three ways in which an appeal can be dealt with:

  • Written Representations – This is the quickest and simplest method appeal and about 80% of appeals are determined this way.  The appellant and Council prepare written statements for the Planning Inspector to consider.  The Inspector will visit the site, usually accompanied by both parties, and then issue a written decision.
  • Informal Hearing -  About 16% of appeals are determined by informal hearings.  Statements are again prepared by both parties and a hearing arranged where the Inspector leads a discussion about the issues  with the appellant, the Council and any third parties present.  A site visit will also take place on the same day.  Following the hearing the Inspector will issue a written decision
  • Public Inquiry  - Only about 4% of appeals are determined by public inquiry and this process is usually reserved for more major or complex proposals.  Again statements are submitted by each party before the inquiry.  At the inquiry each side presents its case verbally before the Inspector and the witnesses for each side can be cross examined by the opposing party.  This is the most lengthy and expensive procedure and normally involves professional representation by a barrister or solicitor.

You can also find more information about the ‘Appeal Process’ and ‘Making an Appeal’ on the Planning Portal website, simply select on the the following options:

Third Party Right of Appeal?

There is no third party right of appeal at present whether an application has been approved or refused. 

Third parties, such as objectors, can be involved in the appeal process on a application about which they have commented.  We let all parties who made comments on an application of any appeal that is subsequently lodged.

A ‘Guide to Taking Part in Planning Appeals’ is available on the Planning Inspectorate website.

Make your Appeal Online

Working in partnership with the Planning Portal, Planning Casework Service, you can now submit and view appeals online - Planning Portal - Appeals

You can also contact the Planning Inspectorate:
In writing: Customer Support Unit, The Planning Inspectorate, 3/15A Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN

Telephone: 0117 9878762 / 0117 9878000

Fax: 0117 9218769

Email:: enquiries@pins.gsi.gov.uk

Planning advice & guidance

Last updated: Monday 28th October 2013 02:50:01 PM
Review date: Thursday 4th September 2014 03:14:25 PM