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How to fight an appeal

Close up of blueprint of building plans

If a planning application is refused by the local planning authority, the applicants have the right to appeal the decision through the Planning Inspectorate. A planning inspector is appointed to decide the case or make a recommendation to the secretary of state who will make the final decision. The local community or individuals may decide to fight the appeal.

Generally, small straightforward appeal applications are dealt with through written evidence. Everyone concerned writes a formal submission letter to the Planning Inspectorate. These are examined by the planning inspector without any formal meeting. The inspector will have sight of all the evidence and correspondence collected by the local planning authority in the original application.

If you have commented on the application, the local planning authority should write to you informing you that an appeal has been made and whether it will be via written representations, informal hearing or public inquiry. Your original objections stand but you can submit further evidence during the six-week consultation period. A well-researched objection that relates to planning regulations and published strategies will carry more weight.

If the application is complex or if there has been significant local opposition, there may be a hearing. Evidence is presented informally to an inspector.

More information on planning appeals can be found on the government’s Planning Inspectorate website.

If an application has been granted

Members of the public, even if affected by an application being granted, do not have a right to appeal. In certain circumstances they may be able to challenge a planning decision through the court system. It should be noted that this can be an expensive option and is not risk free.