There are strict rules and a strict timetable as to how appeals are conducted which are designed to ensure they are fair to all


Planning applications are not always approved or they may be approved subject to conditions that are not acceptable. In such circumstances there is always the option of making an appeal to an independent planning inspector appointed by the Secretary of State.

Although most planning applications are approved, this is not always the case. Where an application is refused or approved subject to conditions that are not acceptable then there is always the option of making an appeal to an independent planning inspector appointed by the Secretary of State. An appeal can also be made when an enforcement notice is served by the local planning authority.

An appeal can only be lodged within six months of a decision or three months in the case of a householder application and within one month of the service of an enforcement notice.

There are a number of different appeal methods:

  • Written Representations
    Most planning appeals are decided by this method. These are the most common and cheapest form of appeals and usually deal with small scale or uncomplicated projects. The Planning Inspector considers written evidence from the appellant, the local planning authority and anyone else who has an interest in the appeal. The Inspector will also invariably visit the site before making a decision..
  • Informal Hearings
    Both sides are invited to put their case before an Inspector in person. Hearings are usually held in Council offices, village halls or community centres and normally last about a full day. Hearings are open to members of the public, and other persons with an interest in the case in addition to the appellant and the Local Planning Authority may speak. The Inspector will lead the discussion and ask questions of participants. The hearing is usually concluded with a visit to the appeal site.
  • Public Inquiries
    These appeals are the least common and most formal and often require an experienced advocate such as a barrister to present the appellant’s case. They are considerably more expensive and are typically used to deal with complex or contentious issues. A public inquiry appeal also allows evidence to be taken on oath.   Here at H&H Planning Services, we have relationships with planning lawyers and barristers and can seek the right professional advice for individual cases.

It is advisable to appoint a planning professional to undertake an appeal as they will be familiar with planning policies and other appeal decisions which would support your case. It is possible to recover costs if it is proven the planning authority has behaved unreasonably in making their decision or in the conduct of the appeal, but the award of costs is relatively rare so generally speaking the costs of the appeal are borne by the appellant

For further information regarding appeals or if you wish to discuss your project in detail, please contact the H&H Planning Team on 01228 406260 or email the team in confidence.