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Appealing a Commercial Development Decision

For the most part, making appeals about non-residential developments relate to shopfront applications and other A class uses (e.g. cafes, estate agents). This guide explains how to appeal a minor commercial development decision given by a local planning authority (LPA) and how long the process takes.

Disputing Minor Commercial Developments

LPAs decide whether to grant permission for ‘negligible’ ground floor alterations (e.g. modifying shop fronts, installing security shutters).

The process of appealing against a minor commercial development decision is free of charge if you choose to challenge it.

Nonetheless, the person who made the original application is the only one who can submit an appeal.

The deadline for disputing small commercial development decisions is twelve (12) weeks after the date recorded on the notice from the local planning authority.

You have less time to appeal an enforcement notice (e.g. if you make a change without planning permission). In this case, you would need to lodge an appeal within twenty eight (28) days of receiving the notice.

How to Make an Appeal

The Planning Inspectorate will explain how to send a copy of the appeal (and relevant supporting documentation) to the local planning authority (e.g. at your local council). As a rule, documents will include (all):

  • Decision notice (from the local planning authority).
  • Original application.
  • Site ownership certificate (e.g. stating details about the current owners).
  • Supporting documents and a map of the surrounding area (e.g. you will be able to upload them at the same time).

Note: The main section contains more advice and information about the planning permissions appeals process in the United Kingdom.

Commenting on Appeals

No-one can comment on a minor commercial development decision appeal. But, local planning authorities (LPA) must inform any ‘interested parties’ that someone is challenging it (within five working days).

Note: You can read detailed guidance about making your views known (e.g. through virtual events held by the Planning Inspectorate).

Validating Minor Commercial Development Appeals

Planning Inspectorates need to check all appeals for validity. But, once they have validated the dispute, they will inform the applicant of what happens next and how long the process is likely to take.

Applying for an Award of Costs

In some cases, you may be able to claim planning appeal costs (also called an ‘award of costs’). In simple terms, someone needs to have behaved ‘unreasonably’ for you to have grounds for a valid claim.

As a rule, getting an ‘award of costs’ will depend on whether someone’s mistake cost you money (e.g. missed a deadline).

The complaints procedures have no time limit. Thus, you can use the process for complaining about the way that the Planning Inspectorate handled your case.

Disputing an Appeals Decision

What if you believe the Planning Inspectorate made a legal mistake? In this case, you can challenge the decision in the High Court. It may be best to seek advice from a lawyer if you choose to pursue this option.

Related Help Guides

Note: The main section contains more information about building regulations and planning permissions in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Process for Appealing a Minor Commercial Development Decision in United Kingdom