What can I do if I’m unhappy with a planning decision?

You can appeal against decisions made by the council if you consider the refusal or conditions imposed are unreasonable, or if a determination has not been made within a statutory time period (set by Government). You can also appeal against an enforcement notice issue.

When you can appeal

You can appeal a planning decision if either:

  • you disagree with it
  • the decision wasn’t made within 8 weeks (13 weeks for a major development, eg 10 or more dwellings or a building of more than 1,000 square metres)

There’s no fee for appealing.

Only the person who made the application can appeal. If you didn’t apply, you can comment on an appeal instead.

Deadline for appealing

If you disagree with a decision, you must appeal within 6 months of the date on the decision notice from your local planning authority.
If they didn’t make a decision within 8 weeks, you can appeal up to 6 months after the decision was due.
The deadline’s earlier if you’ve received an enforcement notice - you must appeal within 28 days of the notice.

When you can expect a decision

The Planning Inspectorate will check your appeal to make sure it’s valid. They’ll tell you what happens next and how long your appeal may take.
The Planning Inspectorate will then consider your appeal. You’ll normally get a decision within 19 weeks, but it can take longer.

There is no right of planning appeal for third parties (i.e. neighbours) who are unhappy with a planning decision. Decisions can only be challenged through the courts and independent legal advice should be sought immediately if it is felt that the decision is unlawful. Alternatively, you can lodge a complaint if you believe that an application has not been decided in accordance with correct procedures. Further details about the council’s complaints procedure are available on the website or can be provided upon request, but please note that the complaints procedure cannot reverse, alter or reconsider the decision made.

Further Guidance

Further Guidance on this can be found on the Local Government Ombudsman website
And on the Planning Portal website
What to do if your application is refused or delayed
Before you appeal
How long does it take to determine an appeal?
Make an appeal online