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Appealing a Planning Decision

There are steps you can take if the LPA refuses your application (e.g. adjusting the building plans) before having to use the planning permission appeals process. This section explains how to appeal a planning decision after a local planning authority (LPA) refused to grant an application for planning permission.

When Can You Appeal Planning Permission?

Local planning authorities decide whether to grant permission for building work or to change the use of buildings or land.

The process of appealing a planning decision is free of charge, if (any):

  • You have valid grounds for disagreeing with the refusal.
  • They failed to decide within eight (8) weeks or thirteen (13) weeks for major developments (e.g. buildings over 1,000 m2 or at least ten dwellings).

Note: Another section explains how to appeal a householder planning decision for small projects (e.g. building a conservatory, a small extension, or converting the loft).

Deadline for Making an Appeal

The person who made the original application is the only one who can submit an appeal. But, ‘interested parties’ will be allowed to comment on it.

The deadline for appealing against a planning decision is six (6) months after the date as recorded on the notice from the local planning authority.

This part is important:

You would be able to lodge an appeal up to six (6) months after the decision was due, if the LPA failed to make a decision within the standard eight week period.

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

You can check the Planning Inspectorate guidance for further information about the latest timescales for planning appeal decisions.

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

How to Appeal Planning Decisions

You can appeal online, search for, or comment on a planning decision(s) or notice. In some cases, you may need to create an account with the Planning Inspectorate.

Documents Required for 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, the required documentation will include:

  • Decision notice from the local planning authority (or a copy of the letter acknowledging the application).
  • Original application.
  • Plans, drawings, and any relevant documents that you sent to the local planning authority (LPA).
  • Site ownership certificate (e.g. stating the current ownership details of the land).
  • Supporting documents and a map of the surrounding area (e.g. you will be able to upload them at the same time).

Commenting on a Planning Appeal

Anyone can voice their concerns, or comment about, appeals by searching online for a decision or notice on the Planning Inspectorate website.

The first deadline for commenting is five (5) weeks from the start date of the appeal. The time limit can also be six (6) weeks after the date recorded on an enforcement notice issued by a local planning authority (LPA).

Local planning authorities (LPA) must inform all interested parties within five (5) working days of the date when the Planning Inspectorate started the appeals process.

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

Validating Planning Permission 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: This video contains a step by step guide about your automatic right to appeal. Learn how to submit a planning appeal if your application to achieve planning permission for your property gets refused.

How to Appeal a Planning Decision in the United Kingdom