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Planning Applications - what happens if you're refused permission and how can you challenge such decision?

View profile for Brendon Lee
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If you think a council planning department has made an incorrect decision regarding your application, or if you haven’t received a decision on your application within the prescribed period, you can request that the Planning Inspectorate examines the case. This is commonly known as a planning appeal.

A planning appeal gives you the chance to re-run the merits of the planning application before a new decision maker. Some of the common causes for why you may wish to lodge a planning appeal include:

  • If you disagree with the reasons given by the council which led to your application being refused;
  • If the council has given permission but with conditions attached that you regard as unreasonable;
  • If the council has refused to approve the details of a scheme which has already been given outline planning permission;
  • If the council has approved the details of a scheme but with conditions that could be regarded as unreasonable;
  • If the council has refused an application to modify or discharge a planning condition; and
  • If the council has failed to determine the application within either 8 weeks (or 13 weeks for large developments) or any agreed period of extension (as the case may be).

Strict time limit to appeal

Householders have up to 12 weeks to submit an appeal from the date of the decision. For non-householder planning applications, there is a six month period to lodge an appeal. If you are appealing for another type of planning decision you should carefully check the time limits and rights for appealing.

If you lodge an appeal beyond these cut-off points then you can almost guarantee that it’s going to be immediately rejected, without any further right of appeal, and you’ll have to start the whole planning application process from scratch.

How likely are you to succeed?

Generally, one in three appeals is successful, but it will entirely depend on the circumstances and how each individual application relates to relevant local and national planning policies.

It’s not a quick process and obtaining specialist legal and planning advice is recommended. You and your planning expert will be required to make a written representation, with statements, evidence and any relevant information presented in full. The Inspectorate may even request a site visit to inform their decision. You can also request an informal hearing or local Inquiry but the Inspectorate may refuse if it believes there is no benefit to be gained.

Any decision is final as to the merits of your planning application and you will receive a full explanation as to why your application has been approved or rejected. You can only judicially challenge the decision on such grounds like error of law or misinterpretation of policy. 

Getting legal advice

The Planning Team at Buckles Solicitors is experienced in the planning appeal process and judicially reviewing planning appeal decisions. They will be happy to guide you through the process and therefore should you require planning legal advice please contact us on 01733 888888.

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