WHAT IS A PLANNING APPEAL?
This is a request to a 'third party' - the Planning Inspectorate to decide a planning application. In most cases, this happens when a council refuses planning permission. However, you can also appeal against the following decisions:
- Any conditions imposed on the planning permission.
- The issue of an enforcement notice.
- The refusal of listed building consent.
- Non-determination of the planning application (where a Council has not made a decision within the required timeperiod set down in law).
There is no right of appeal to third parties; only the applicant can make an appeal. If you wish to make an appeal, you must do this within six months of the council's decision.
There are three ways an appeal can be considered or 'heard':
- Written Representations - This is the simplest and most frequently used type of appeal; the applicant and the council both submit their statements in writing to the Planning Inspectorate for the Inspector to consider.
- Informal Hearing - Both parties will give their 'evidence' to an Inspector in person. This type of appeal is designed to allow members of the public and those not formally trained in planning to submit their case in a non-adversarial way as legal representation is not allowed.
- Public Inquiry - This is a more formal arrangement that is used for major planning applications. Both the applicant (also known as the appellant) and the council will often be represented by lawyers and other specialists.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN AN APPEAL IS MADE?
The usual process is as follows:
- Both sides submit their statements/evidence to the Planning Inspectorate and this is passed to the Inspector.
- An Inspector will visit the site.
- Anyone who made representations (objection or support) on the application is informed of the appeal and can make further comments.
- The Inspector will consider the evidence and give his decision in writing explaining the reasons for it.
- The Inspector may also award costs against the council or the appellant if it is decided that either of them has behaved unreasonably.