Once a planning application has been determined a formal notice of the decision will be issued as soon as is practical after the decision has been made. The decision notice will include any conditions accompanying an approval, or reasons for any refusal. The decision issued will only become final as soon as the time for requesting an appeal has expired or any appeal has been determined, whichever is later.
The notice is issued to the applicant or their agent, and in the case of a refusal the notice will be accompanied by a copy of the officer’s report. Letters are also sent to all parties who contributed to the consideration of the application, informing them of the decision, the supporting reasons or conditions and where they may view the officer’s report.
Guidance will be included in the body of the notice and any letters informing the recipient whether they have been accorded powers to appeal the decision and where to direct that appeal should they wish to.
Submission of Appeals
Information on the submission of appeals is available on our How to Appeal page.
Whilst an applicant will always have powers of appeal, any other parties to an application will be notified if they also have such powers within the body of their decision letter. These powers are referred to as ‘interested person status’ (defined in the Development Procedure Order). Persons who have such power and who may wish to contest the decision or disagree with the conditions/reasons attached to it, may lodge an appeal. For more information see our Interested Person page.
Administration of the Appeal Process
The overall administration for a planning appeal is managed by the Planning Appeals Administrator in the Cabinet Office (although appeals are initially submitted to the Department). The Planning Appeals Administrator will refer the appeal and all correspondence to an appointed independent person (Planning Inspector) to consider the matter. The Planning Appeals Administrator can be contacted at:
Telephone:+44 1624 685204
Fax:+44 1624 685710
Written Representations and Hearings
Appeals can be determined based upon written statements or by interested parties attending a hearing. Many appeals can be satisfactorily determined without a hearing, based purely on written submissions and a site visit by the Inspector. Written considerations are is usually quicker than a hearing, and will save any expenses a party may incur by attending a hearing.
For more information see our Appeal Procedures page.
The Planning Inspector
The Planning Inspector has certain specific functions set down to perform on behalf of the Department. These functions are set down in the Development Procedure Order. In summary, they:
- must consider the application and any written submissions made with respect to it
- may in the case of an inquiry only, hold a pre-inquiry meeting to be convened on his or her behalf by the Cabinet Office
- must in the case of an inquiry only, give to the appellant, the Department and every interested person an opportunity to appear before him or her on a date fixed and to make oral representations and to call and examine witnesses
- may invite any Government Department (including any Division of the Department) or any other body or person to provide technical advice; and
- must make to the Department a report in writing that includes the planning inspector’s recommendations as to the determination of the appeal.
Once received the Minister (or someone acting on their behalf) will consider the report of the independent person and either allow or dismiss the appeal; and may in either case reverse or vary any part of its decision, whether or not the appeal relates to that part. Because the Minister has a role in the planning appeal process it is important that the Minister remains impartial to any planning considerations pending any potential involvement in an appeal. Accordingly no approach should be made to the Minister for earlier input or involvement in a planning application or its consideration.
Notification of the appeal decision is conveyed by a letter from the Chief Executive as soon as is possible to the applicant and all interested parties. The notice of the decision will include a copy of the report whilst letters to all other parties will direct them to where the inspectors report may be viewed.
Where an appeal is upheld the fee initially paid by the appellant will be refunded (this does not relate to ay additional fee paid in relation to requesting a hearing). Please be aware that under the Development Procedure Order costs may be charged against the appellant should they fail without reasonable cause to appear at the time and place appointed for the inquiry. The Department may require the appellant to pay the whole or specified part of the costs and expenses incurred by any interested person in connection with the appeal.
Withdrawal of Appeals
Please note that an appellant may withdraw the appeal by giving notice in writing to the Cabinet Office at any time prior to a) 7 days from the date of the scheduled commencement of an inquiry; or b) in the case of a written representation procedure, at any time before the final date of the receipt for the written submission.