What if your planning application is refused?

If you seek consent or permission to carry out particular works to your property and your application isn't decided within a set period, or the local authority refuses your application or grants it on conditions you disagree with, you usually have a right of appeal.

Planning refusals

If your application is refused and you think that the proposal could be altered to make it more acceptable it can be submitted again with different plans. In certain circumstances another application fee may not be needed.

However, the proposal must be of a similar nature. If you intend to submit another application, you should discuss this with the case officer. The alternative is to appeal against the refusal by visiting the Government Services and Information website or contacting the Planning Inspectorate and obtaining the necessary forms.

Planning permission conditions

Some planning permissions will be granted subject to a condition or conditions.  If you do not agree with conditions attached to a planning permission, you could make another application to try and obtain planning permission without such conditions; or appeal against the condition by contacting the Planning Inspectorate or visiting the Government Services and Information website.

The Inspector will consider the proposal from scratch, looking at the same matters we have. It is the Inspector's job to ensure that all relevant matters have been properly taken into account.

When can I appeal?

You can appeal to the Secretary of State if we have:

  • refused your application for planning permission
  • given permission but with conditions which you feel are unreasonable
  • refused to approve the details of a scheme which has already been given outline permission
  • approved the details of such a scheme but with conditions which you feel are unreasonable
  • refused your proposal to meet a condition
  • taken longer than 8 weeks to decide your application and have not informed you that your application is being rejected because it is repetitive

The Planning Inspectorate

All planning appeals are administered by the Planning Inspectorate. The appeal will be made to the First Secretary of State in England.

Only the applicant for consent or permission can make an appeal. There is no right of appeal for interested people or organisations (known as ‘third parties’) in England and Wales.

You can also appeal if the local planning authority has served you with an enforcement notice.

There are strict time limits on the right to appeal, as summarised in the table below.

Time limits on right to appeal
Type of planning application Time limit on right to appeal
Lawful Development Certificate There’s normally no deadline. If you’re appealing an application about a listed building lawful development certificate, you must appeal within 6 months of the decision.
Tree Preservation Order

You must appeal:

  • within 28 days of the date on the council’s decision notice
  • before the date the tree replacement notice comes into effect

There’s no deadline if you’re appealing because your application wasn’t decided within 8 weeks.

Display of an advertisement

If you disagree with a decision, you must appeal within 8 weeks of the date on the decision notice from your local planning authority.

If you’ve been sent a discontinuation notice, you’ll need to appeal before the date given on the notice.

Hedgerow notice You must appeal within 28 days of the date on the council’s notice.
Household application

If you disagree with a decision, you must appeal within 12 weeks of the date on the decision notice from your local planning authority.

The deadline is earlier if you have received an enforcement notice. You must appeal within 28 days of the notice.

Listed Building consent

You must appeal within 6 months of either:

  • the date of the decision
  • when the decision was due, if you didn’t get one within 8 weeks (13 weeks for a major development)
Minor commercial development

You must appeal within 12 weeks of the date on the decision notice from your local planning authority.

The deadline is earlier if you have received an enforcement notice - you must appeal within 28 days of the notice.

Planning decision

If you disagree with a decision, you must appeal within 6 months of the date on the decision notice from your local planning authority.

If they didn’t make a decision within 8 weeks, you can appeal up to 6 months after the decision was due.

The deadline is earlier if you have received an enforcement notice - you must appeal within 28 days of the notice.

Enforcement notice Your appeal must be received before the date the enforcement notice takes effect.

Once your appeal has been submitted, it will be checked to make sure that everything is in order. The case officer dealing with your appeal will let you know what else you need to do during the course of your appeal, and when you need to do it.

Submitting an appeal

There are three ways of submitting an appeal:

  • Written Representation (cheapest, simplest and most common procedure)
  • Informal Hearing (discussion forum) or
  • Public Inquiry (full cross examination)

The first option is the most common, especially for householder and other minor applications. Appeals for more detailed major applications tend to be decided by an informal hearing or a full public inquiry.

A written representation statement typically includes and appraisal of the scheme and issues, together with maps, plans and photographs but not oral evidence. Whichever procedure is used, the Inspector will visit the site to judge the effect of your proposal on the area.

If you, the Council or the Planning Inspectorate do not agree to the written procedure, a hearing or an inquiry will be arranged.

Updated: 20 January 2016