After a Planning Decision has been made
Frustratingly, you may be in the situation where input into the planning application has not resulted in the right consideration being given by the officer or the Committee. If this is the case, here are the possible actions you can take:
Secretary of State call in
For a particularly controversial planning application, you can request that the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government “call-in” the application for consideration. This usually happens with a Local Planning Authority (LPA) have taken a decision on a planning application that conflicts with national policy in important ways or is nationally significant. For example, where an application for a football stadium may have not given due consideration to Police evidence concerning security.
Is a legal challenge where it can be set out that the LPA has made an unreasonable decision on a planning application considering the evidence provided. This can be an expensive route as it will require legal advice (often barristers) to proceed the challenge in the High Courts.
Complaint to the Ombudsman
If you believe that your local planning authority has not followed the correct procedure for determining a planning application, then a complaint about the procedure failure can be made to the Local Government Ombudsman
They can investigate the procedure followed in determining the application, but they do not have the power to overturn a decision that has been made.
Dealing with Appeals
There are no third-party rights of appeal on a planning application. Where an applicant is refused planning permission they can appeal, and this appeal is heard by an independent government body called the Planning Inspectorate. Appeals are usually undertaken via a process of written representations and your original comments which are included within the case officer reports will be forwarded to the Planning Inspector for consideration. You can also send further comments on any new issues that may have subsequently arisen directly to the Planning Inspector.
Planning enforcement is the investigation of breaches of planning regulations and planning conditions. Often it relates to a building that deviates significantly from the original planning application. Most breaches of planning are not unlawful but unauthorised. As such the planning enforcement officers can seek for a retrospective planning application to be submitted that will address the unauthorised changes and this gives a further opportunity for public comments to be provided.
In more severe cases, enforcement action can be undertaken, and the enforcement officers have a wide range of tools to help resolve the problems. It is important that all enforcement undertaken is proportionate to the breach.
Works related to construction noise are usually not a matter for planning consideration but are considered as a statutory noise nuisance which can be investigated by the Environmental Health Department.
For information about health and safety of construction then please go to the Health and Safety Executive website.
Last updated: March 2023