How to Appeal a Planning Decision?

on Monday, 14 May 2018.

How to Appeal a Planning Decision?

If your planning application is refused, or approved with conditions that you are not happy with, you can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate for a final decision. You can also appeal against ‘non-determination’ if the statutory 8 week (or 13 week for major applications) deadline has passed and a decision still hasn’t been made. The Planning Inspectorate makes the decision on your appeal and is completely independent of your Local Planning Authority.

Planning appeals must be made within 6 months of the decision by your Local Planning Authority, or within 6 months of when the decision was due if appealing against non-determination.

Only the applicant or agent of the planning application can appeal the decision – there is no third party right of appeal for neighbours unhappy with an approved planning application for example.

How much does it cost?

The Planning Inspectorate does not charge a fee for appealing. If you use an agent to prepare your appeal for you, they will of course agree a fee with you for their services. Here at Atlas Planning Group, we will always provide clients with a bespoke fixed fee for our involvement.

How do I do it?

You can lodge your appeal directly with the Planning Inspectorate via their website (, or by post. You’ll need to submit copies of:

  • Your original application;
  • The decision notice, or acknowledgement letter in case of non-determination;
  • The site ownership certificate;
  • All plans, drawings and documents submitted with your application;
  • Any other supporting documents, such as a Statement of Case.

How long does it take?

On average, householder appeals take around seven weeks to be decided, whilst other planning appeals take around 19 – 38 weeks to be decided depending on the procedure. However, the Planning Inspectorate regularly updates their website to provide current timescales for decisions:

Will my Appeal be successful?

The Planning Inspectorate’s statistics show that on average, only 1 in 3 appeals is successful.  However, by instructing a RTPI registered Chartered Town and Country Planner to manage your appeal, your chances could increase significantly. Here at Atlas Planning Group, we have had considerable success winning planning permission at appeal. Our Case Studies page provides examples of Appeal successes - Redevelopment of site to provide a block of six high quality apartments.

Our team follows a process of:

  • assessing the proposals based on the submitted drawings and documents;
  • interrogating the Planning Officer’s report and decision notice for potential lines of argument;
  • making recommendations for any small changes or additional reports required to support the case; and,
  • bringing this all together in a professional Statement of Case Document for submission to the Planning Inspectorate.

This process ensures your appeal has the very best chance of success and our team is exceptionally good at it. Learn more here - Planning Appeals

Can I get any of my costs back?

There is also a process for an ‘award of costs’ – this is an order which states that one party shall pay to another party the costs, in part or full, which have been incurred as a result on the appeal process. The decision as to whether award costs is also made by the Planning Inspectorate and will be issued at the same time as the decision for the appeal to which it relates is released.

An award of costs will only be made if one party can demonstrate to the Planning Inspector that the other party has acted ‘unreasonably’ and this behaviour has directly cause unnecessary or waste expense to be incurred. An example of costs could be the time spent your agent in preparing the appeal.

We have recently been successful in demonstrating unreasonable behaviour by a Local Planning Authority on an appeal for 9 homes, resulting in the Planning Inspector awarding full costs be paid – this means that our involvement won’t cost our client a penny! Check out the full story here - Appeal Allowed in Bridgwater

If you’d like to hear more, or discuss how we help you with your planning appeal, please get in touch.

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