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Appeal Lawful Development Certificate

How to appeal a decision about a lawful development certificate and grounds for doing so. Check what documents you need to supply and what happens after appealing.

GROUNDS FOR APPEAL: Decisions on lawful development certification are made by the local planning authority (LPA). But, you must have a genuine reason to make an appeal against a lawful development certificate decision, such as:

  • You disagree with the outcome of a decision.
  • It took the LPA longer than eight (8) weeks to make a decision (six weeks for work on a listed building).

The same person who made the original lawful development certificate application must be the one to make the appeal. But, other people can comment on an appeal if they want to.

Note: There is no fee to appeal a decision about a lawful development certificate. But, you should not appeal if you already received an enforcement notice. Doing so may incur costs.

Appeal Deadlines and Decisions

As a rule, there is no set deadline for appealing. But, an exception applies to a listed building lawful development certificate. In this case, the appeal deadline is six (6) months of an LPA decision. After an appeal gets validated the final decision usually takes less than 39 weeks.

Note: The process allows you to apply for planning permission at the same time as appealing against a lawful development certificate decision.

Making an Appeal

The same process applies to appeal, to search, or to comment on a planning decision or notice. You should make an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. You would need to make separate appeals if you are questioning more than one decision.

A copy of the appeal and all supporting documents needs sending to your local planning authority. The Planning Inspectorate will give you further information on this part.

Required Documentation

There are several documents that you will need to submit copies of, including:

  • The appeal (if appealing by postal methods) and the original application.
  • All drawings, documents, and plans you sent to the local planning authority.
  • Any correspondence made with the local planning authority (e.g. emails or letters).
  • The decision notice given to you by the local planning authority. Send a copy of the letter acknowledging the application if no decision got made.

In some cases, you also need to submit:

  • A detailed map of the development site.
  • Any other documentation that directly supports the appeal (e.g. the specific grounds of appeal).

Note: Check through a list of home improvements you can carry out without going through the expensive and timely process of planning permission.

You can also make an appeal once the land or building becomes lawful. For example, it might happen after the passing of an enforced time limit. In this case, you would also need to submit extra evidence such as:

  • Dated photographs of the development site.
  • Letters from the neighbours.
  • Invoices or receipts for work carried out.
  • Plans and drawings.

If you appeal online you can upload the extra documents in the same way. If not, you will need to mail them to the Planning Inspectorate after the land or building becomes lawful.

The Planning Inspectorate
Room 3 O/P
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Temple Quay
Bristol BS1 6PN

How to Comment on an Appeal

A lawful development certificate appeal has no restrictions on who can comment. To do so, you will need to find the right case on the appeals casework portal. But, there is a deadline for comments of six (6) weeks after the start date of an appeal.

The local planning authority must inform any ‘interested parties’ of the appeal. Interested parties will be anyone who has commented on the application. The LPA must tell them within two weeks of the appeal getting validated by the Planning Inspectorate. Sometimes, there will be an inquiry into the case. Interested parties can apply for ‘rule 6 status’. This means they will play an important role in the appeal, calling witnesses and giving evidence.

Note: You can read further guidance on ‘taking part in a planning, listed building or enforcement appeal‘.

After the Appeal

The Planning Inspectorate will check the papers to ensure they are valid before it goes to appeal. They will inform you of the next steps and how long the process may take.

The next step is for the Planning Inspectorate to consider the appeal. In most cases, you will get a decision within nine months of the appeal validation.

Cases of ‘Unreasonable Behavior’

In some cases, the behaviour of people involved in your appeal may cost you money. For example, you may lose out ‘financially’ if the other party missed the appeal deadlines. The applicant can apply to claim planning appeal costs – called an ‘award of costs’.

Note: You can also complain about the handling of an appeal by the Planning Inspectorate. Complaints such as these do not have any time limits. Another section explains the process for appealing a listed building consent decision by a local planning authority (LPA).

Disagreeing with the Appeal Decision

The Administrative Court reviews decisions made by people or by bodies with a public law function. This includes local authorities and regulatory bodies in the United Kingdom.

If you believe the Planning Inspectorate made a legal mistake you can challenge the decision in the High Court. It would be best to get expert advice from a lawyer for this type of action.

How to Appeal a Decision about a Lawful Development Certificate in the United Kingdom