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How to Appeal

The applicant, the Local Authority, or any persons whom have been accorded interested person status, as defined by the Town and Country Planning (Development Procedure)(No2) Order 2013, may appeal to the Minister for the Department of Environment, Food & Agriculture against a decision of the Planning Authority.

For an appeal to be valid it must:

  • Be received in writing, signed and validated within 21 days of the date of the planning decision notice
  • be submitted by the applicant, their agent or an interested person, as defined by the Town and Country Planning (Development Procedure)(No2) Order 2013
  • include the reasons for making the appeal.
  • be supported by payment of a planning appeal fee (as prescribed under Section 1(1) of the Fees Duties Act 1989) – (currently £276)
  • include an election to have the appeal considered by inquiry or written representation

Failure to include ALL criteria will render an appeal invalid.

All parties (regardless as to status) will be notified where a valid appeal has been lodged. Should a party receive notice that an appeal has been lodged, and had powers and intention to submit their own, it is recommended that they still do so. An appellant can withdraw their appeal at any point prior to its determination. Please note that should an appeal be withdrawn there is no provision for a refund of the appeal fee.

Once an appeal has been acknowledged, planning administration will convey a complete copy of the application file, along with all details relative to the consideration including all representations made, to the Planning Appeals Administrator of the Cabinet Office. Thereafter, all administration in relation to the appeal will be carried out by that Office.

To withdraw an appeal, notice may be given in writing to the Cabinet Office at any time prior to 7 days before the date of the scheduled commencement of an inquiry; or in the case of a written representation procedure, at any time before the final date of the receipt for the written submission.

On receipt of a valid appeal the Cabinet Office will refer the matter to an independent person to consider the matter.

There are two separate procedures for dealing with appeals, the Written Procedure and Inquiry Hearings. In all cases the Inspector carries out a site visit but will not meet nor interact with any parties during such.

The appointed person to whom the matter will be referred (defined in the Order as the Planning Inspector) has certain and specific functions set down to perform on behalf the Cabinet Office. These functions under Article 8(7) of the Order, in summary, require them to: -

  1. must consider the application and any written submissions made with respect to it;
  2. may in the case of an inquiry only, hold a pre-inquiry meeting to be convened on his or her behalf by the Chief Secretary;
  3. 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;
  4. may invite any Government Department (including any Division of the Department) or any other body or person to provide technical advice; and
  5. must make to the Department a report in writing that includes the planning inspector’s recommendations as to the determination of the appeal.

Any reference to the Chief Secretary’s Office within the Order is now the Cabinet Office, as amended by the Government restructure 1st April 2014.

Once the report of the independent person referred to in 5 above is received, the Minister on behalf of the Department will either allow or dismiss the appeal; and may in either case reverse or vary any part of their decision, whether or not the appeal relates to that part.

Notification of the appeal decision is conveyed by letter as soon as is possible to the applicant, the appellant and all interested parties. Whilst notice of the decision to the applicant (and appellant if not the same) will include a copy of the inspector’s report, all others will be directed as to where the inspectors report may be viewed.

Where an appeal is upheld, the fee initially paid by the appellant will be refunded.

Please be aware that under Article 9 of 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.

How appeals are considered

The Planning Inspector will consider not only the documentation submitted to the Department as part of the original application, but also further written submissions, which will be sought from all interested parties on their behalf by the Planning Appeals Administrator of the Cabinet Office.

The Planning Appeals Administrator aims to request written submissions as soon as the appeal is received. 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 Planning Appeals Administrator 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 may exclude a late submission 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.

Whilst the reason for an appeal will have substantiated the original appeal request, the grounds of appeal made by an appellant may be elaborated within their written statement (making up the appeal submission) and should be set out clearly the detail of their appeal.

Submissions may be accepted via e-mail with the agreement, in advance, of the Appeals Administrator.

Appeal representations should explain why the appellant disagrees with the Department’s decision, and deal with each of the reasons given for refusing, or the conditions supporting approval of the application. An appeal on the grounds that the decision of the Department is unacceptable will not suffice in planning terms. It should be noted that the Inspector will consider the application in full, even when an appeal is purely against a condition of approval, as the Minister is empowered to reverse or vary any part of the Authority's decision.

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