If you get refused planning permission or if you have been given permission but with conditions which you think are unreasonable; or if a decision has not been made within the nominal 8 weeks you can appeal against the local planning authority.
Before making the decision of lodging an appeal, consider modifying the scheme to suit the local planning authority. The time limit for submitting the amended scheme is generally 1 year from the refusal date, no extra planning fee is required.
Appeals take time and money and unfortunately are not always successful.
Permission is unlikely to be given for development on green-belt land or on good quality agricultural land or for access to main roads.
Planning inspectors judge appeals on their planning merit. They are unlikely to be swayed to any personal considerations.
Appeals must be lodged within 6 months of the refusal date and they must be accompanied by written representations and a visit to the site by the planning inspector. However in some cases where the appellant or the Local Planning Authority (LPA) do not agree to this procedure, then the inspector can arrange for a hearing or a local inquiry. Forms should be obtained from the planning inspectorate in England and Wales.
The appeal should consist of the relevant forms, documents and plans and they should be sent to the planning inspector with copies of all papers also sent to the Local Planning Authority.
The LPA will also send their report to the planning inspector and copies will be sent to the Appellant who can then make comments.
The planning Inspector can then contact interested people such as neighbours and the environmental groups for their comments.
When the inspector is ready a site visit is arranged, this maybe an unaccompanied visit if the site can be accessed from public land or an accompanied visit when the site is on private land.
Hearings are less formal and cheaper than a local inquiry and legal representations are not normally required.
Local inquiry if required if the LPA and appellant cannot decide on a written representation and the planning inspector decides a hearing is unsuitable.
Written statements made by the LPA and the applicant are sent to the planning inspector and to one other.
Detail of the inquiry must be posted on site and the LPA will inform local papers and anyone else likely to be interested.
Statements of representatives may be asked for from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) where the proposal involves agricultural land, or health and safety executive (HSE)
At the inquiry, anyone involved may use a lawyer or other professional to put their case. The inspector will make visits to the site alone, before the inquiry. After the inquiry the Appellant and the LPA may ask for a visit with the inspector to discuss any points raised about the site or the surroundings.
The Appellant and the LPA will normally pay there own expenses. However if there is an inquiry or hearing, the appellant can ask the LPA to pay some or all of the costs. The LPA may do likewise. The secretary of state will only agree to this if the party claiming can show that the other side behaved unreasonably and put them to unnecessary expense.
The inspector sends the decision to the appellant with copies to the LPA and anyone else entitled or who has asked for a copy. A copy is also sent to the secretary of state with a recommendation to weather or not the appeal should be allowed. The secretary of state does not have to accept the inspector’s recommendations. New evidence may put new light on the subject. In these cases, both parties will have a chance to comment before a decision is made and the inquiry may be re-opened.
The only way to appeal against the inspector’s decision is on legal grounds in the high court. This challenge must be made within 6 weeks of the date of the decision. To succeed, it must be proved that the inspectorate or the secretary of state has exceeded their powers or that proper procedures were not followed.