How to appeal
The applicant, the Local Authority, or any persons likely to be directly affected by a proposed development, may appeal to the Minister for the Department of Infrastructure against the Planning Committee's decision.
Appeals must be submitted in writing and can be made on the form attached to the Notice of the Planning Committee's decision. An appeal should be returned to the Minister within 21 days of the Planning Committee's Decision Notice being served.
There is no requirement at this stage to give full details of the reasons for the appeal, but appellants should indicate whether they wish there to be a formal hearing of the appeal. Many appeals can be satisfactorily determined without a hearing, based purely on written submissions and a site visit by the Inspector. This is usually quicker than having a hearing, and will save any expenses a party may incur by attending a hearing.
Persons intending to appeal against a decision of the Planning Committee, should consider the matter carefully before doing so, and in particular, study the reasons for refusal, or conditions of approval, given by the Planning Committee.
How appeals are considered
The Planning Inspector will consider not only the documentation submitted to the Planning Committee as part of the original application, but also further written submissions, which will be sought by the Appeals Secretary from all interested parties.
The Appeals Secretary aims to request written submissions as soon as the appeal is referred to Crown Division. However, this may not always be possible as it depends on the number of appeals being progressed at any one time.
When requesting written submissions, the Appeals Secretary notifies interested parties of the date and time by which the documents must be received. This is normally within 21 days. If a submission is not received within the time limit, the Inspector will not normally take it into account in his consideration of the appeal. This applies in particular, where it is not possible to circulate copies of the statement to other interested parties in advance of a hearing.
Submissions may be accepted via e-mail with the agreement, in advance, of the Appeals Secretary. The grounds of appeal made by an appellant in a written submission should be set out clearly.
They should explain why the appellant disagrees with the Planning Committee's decision, and deal with each of the reasons given for refusing or the conditions of approval of the application. It isn't enough just to say that the Planning Committee's reasons are not accepted. It should be noted that the Inspector will consider the application in full, even when an appeal is just against a condition of approval, since the Minister is empowered to reverse or vary any part of the Committee's decision.
There are two separate procedures for dealing with appeals, the Written Procedure and Inquiry Hearings. In each case, however, the Inspector carries out a site visit. .