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Appealing a Planning Enforcement Notice

You can still challenge an enforcement notice sent by the local planning authority even after building or changing a property without planning permission. This help guide explains how to make an appeal against a planning enforcement notice and how long the process takes in the United Kingdom.

When Can You Appeal Enforcement Notices?

You must own, rent, or occupy the property or land (according to the law) to lodge an appeal against the planning enforcement notice.

Making the challenge is free of charge unless you are applying for planning permission in England and Wales at the same time.

They must receive your application for appeal before the date that the enforcement notice will come into force.

The Planning Inspectorate offers further guidance about the latest average timescales for decisions on planning enforcement appeals.

How to Appeal an Enforcement Notice

When appealing online, you can also search for, or comment on, a planning decision or notice. You may need to create an account with the Planning Inspectorate.

You can challenge more than one planning enforcement notices. But, you would need to make separate appeals for each one.

Documents Required for Appeals

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, the documents you need to supply will include (all):

  • A copy of the planning enforcement notice (sent by the local planning authority).
  • A buildings plan (where applicable).
  • Any relevant documentation that supports the appeal (e.g. valid grounds for making the challenge).

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

Comment on Enforcement Notice Appeals

Anyone can voice their concerns, or comment about, appeals by searching online for a decision or notice on the Planning Inspectorate website. The deadline for submitting a comment is six (6) weeks after the recorded start date of the appeal.

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

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: This short video explains how to extend a home without having to get planning permission (also called permitted development).

Process for Appealing an Enforcement Notice in the United Kingdom