Submit an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate – faq’s

frequently asked questions on all matters relating to planning appeals

Why appeal?

The simple answer is that planning applications are often refused incorrectly, for many reasons, whether from overturning a planning officer’s recommendation, misinterpretation of planning policy or decisions overly swayed by strong objections.

Other reasons why an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate is a useful strategy is to determine whether parts of the proposals are acceptable (the principle etc) or when planning applications are approved with onerous conditions, or conditions which the applicant does not feel are appropriate.

More appeals are successful than you may imagine – over 8,000 planning appeals were successfully allowed over the last two years (statistics provided by the Planning Inspectorate) proving that the local planning departments are not always right.

Should I appeal to the Planning Inspectorate?

A planning appeal is a useful tool for many reasons but specifically to determine which aspects are acceptable even if the whole appeal isn’t successful. For example if a planning application is refused for several reasons, the Planning Inspectorate will consider each refusal reason and comment accordingly. This can be a very useful tool for determining whether the principle is acceptable before further additional expense is spared on additional consultants or reports.

What are the different types of appeal?

The planning appeals page provides detailed information on the different types of appeal you can make to the Planning Inspectorate.

What are my chances of success?

Your chances of success are greatly improved when using a professional and experienced team to undertake your planning appeal. As part of our initial review process we will undertake research into the refusal reasons, including the planning policies, and investigate whether there are any merits in the amending the proposals to facilitate planning approval either by resubmission or by appeal.

Over 8,000 planning appeals (not including enforcement, advertisement appeal etc) were successfully allowed over the last two years (statistics provided by the Planning Inspectorate). These figures do not include all the appeals that have confirmed some parts of the proposals were satisfactory (the principle/ the use etc) even if the whole appeal wasn’t allowed. These figures are significantly and proportionally reduced due to the significant reduction in the number of appeals submitted in the last two years compared to previous years (for example there were almost twice as many appeals submitted in the year 2008/ 2009 as 2010/2011).

The % of planning appeals allowed also varies greatly between different local authorities, proving that planning departments are not always interpreting planning policies consistently again illustrating the benefit of using a national company to undertake your appeal.

Recent Statistics released by the Planning Inspectorate show an 9% increase in successful planning appeals in the last 3 months. For new build houses the figure is 16% higher over the last 3 months (to Dec 2011)

Why choose Plande for your appeal?

We have access to over 156,000 nationwide planning appeal decisions, allowing appeals to be evidence based utilising legal precedents and points of law to greatly improve the chances that the Planning Inspectorate will allow the appeal.

We also have an expert, highly experienced in-house team with wide ranging specialist external support where specific assistance is required.

When can an appeal be made?

A planning appeal can be made to the Planning Inspectorate generally in one of the following circumstances:

> if no decision is made within the statutory (8 – 13 week) period – appeal against non determination
> If an application is Refused (whether a planning application, retrospective, enforcement etc)
> If planning Approval is granted subject to conditions which are onerous or inappropriate

Why should we use you rather than our local architect or surveyor etc?

Planning appeals are a highly specialist area incorporating many different aspects, including planning law and case law. Our specialist, dedicated team, work on all types of planning appeal across the whole of England, Scotland and Wales and as such our breadth of experience and independence from local political influences, provides a unique and cost effective service.

The % of planning appeals allowed varies greatly between different local authorities, proving that planning departments are not always interpreting planning policies consistently. Also the local company has to continue working with the planning departments on all of their schemes and as such may not want to push them or challenge them too hard. This illustrates the benefit of not using a local company who are used to liaising and negotiating with their local planning department.

We are more than happy to work with your existing team and often this provides a strong team to ensure the best chance of success.

What are the deadlines for submitting an appeal?

An appeal must be submitted, to the Planning Inspectorate, within 6 months of the refusal date for most applications or within 12 weeks for a householder appeal. The rules are different for advertisement applications, enforcement action etc and therefore appropriate advice should be sought in each case.

How long does a planning appeal take?

The current average times, as provided by the Planning Inspectorate, are that written representation appeals are dealt with in 22 weeks (the target is 26 weeks). Householder appeals are dealt with, on average within 7 weeks (the target is 8 weeks). These times are an average and each appeal is subject to the individual Planning Inspectors timetable. The times also differ for other types of appeal such as enforcement appeals, advertisement appeals and lawful development certificate appeals. Please contact us for more detailed information.

Is an appeal the best chance of obtaining planning?

An appeal, to the Planning Inspectorate, is sometimes the best chance of achieving planning for example, especially when local politics come into play. It is also a good opportunity to overturn planning decisions where previous refusals have had an undue effect on your application especially if these previous refusals have not been the subject to an appeal. Please contact us today for an appraisal on your appeal.

However, sometimes we recommend (for numerous reasons) that a resubmission is the best way to obtain planning where a small detail or issue has prevented approval (please see the case studies page for more information). If this is the case, we are more than happy and capable to assist with this resubmission, either as a standalone service (we have our own in-house RIBA Architects etc) or with your existing design team. This route does not preclude a subsequent appeal on the refused application which therefore keeps your options open as much as possible.

Who determines planning appeals?
  • In England – the Planning Inspectorate is based in Bristol
  • In Wales – the Planning Inspectorate is based in Cardiff (please note we are able to submit appeals and statements etc in Welsh if required or desired)
  • In Scotland – Scottish Government Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals, based in Edinburgh
Do the Planning Inspectorate visit the site?

A planning appeal usually requires a site visit from the Planning Inspectorate and where these are required to be accompanied, someone from the applicant side needs to be present.

However, the site visit process is only an opportunity for the inspector to see some of the physical attributes of the site and is not an opportunity for any further arguments to be made or merits of the case to be discussed. The site visit usually only takes a few minutes and as such we generally feel there is no real benefit in paying for a planning expert to be present at that time. We are, however, more than happy to undertake these site visits if specifically required. These visits are charged on an hourly rate basis.

With the age of technology, a physical site visit it usually not required by us though. Any information/ photographs you can send to us also provide invaluable information, however the use of aerial photography, Google street view and the local authorities planning website generally provide the information we need.

What types of appeal can Plande undertake?

We can generally undertake most types of appeal, but this website has been developed primarily to deal with written representation and householder planning appeals, submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.

What are the benefits of using Plande?

Utilising Plande for your planning appeal helps to create a more efficient and prompt service, whilst reducing your costs. These reduced costs can be achieved, not by reducing our service, but by reducing our overheads and relying primarily on electronic communication. All of our appeals are submitted electronically, to the Planning Inspectorate, with draft submissions emailed to you for approval prior to submission.

Whether are looking to submit an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate or you need an expert to help challenge your local planning authority, our fresh planning insights will help you achieve your goal.