Apply for planning permission

Last updated on: 09-Apr-2021

7. Appeal or challenge a planning decision

If we refuse planning permission, we grant permission subject to conditions, or we fail to deal with an application within the time limits, the applicant has a right to appeal to the Secretary of State via the Planning Inspectorate. You can find the forms to do this on the Planning Inspectorate website.

Applicants are encouraged to review the Officer’s or Regulatory Board / Committee Report, which explains how the decision was reached, in order to fully understand the issues involved. You may also wish to seek pre-application advice in order to identify whether acceptable revisions could be made to the development and a new planning application submitted.

An independent inspector is appointed to consider each appeal. The inspector will make his decision in line with the development plan unless there are material considerations that justify taking a different view.

The inspector may come to a different view from us and decide that planning permission should be granted, or subject to planning conditions. This does not mean that he has disregarded our views or the views of local residents – rather it means that he has attributed different weight to the issues in coming to his decision.

Please note that it is not possible for a third party to appeal against a local planning authority's decision. For example, if your neighbour was granted permission to build an extension you could not appeal against it, even if you objected to the application. See the Planning Portal for more information.

Our decision can only be challenged in the High Court by judicial review. The High Court will only look at our procedural matters or the decision-making process, not whether we made the correct planning decision or judgement. We recommend seeking specific prompt legal advice in this regard.

If you have a complaint about the way the Planning service has failed to meet expected standards or if something has gone wrong, please contact the case officer in the first instance.

Should the initial response not address your concerns, please refer to our formal complaints process.

If you are not satisfied by the response provided by the Council, you may then wish to contact the Local Government Ombudsman. It is not the role of the Ombudsman role to say whether permission should have been granted or not, and they will not uphold your complaint if it turns out that the Council followed the proper procedures, relevant legislation and guidance and considered the objections made, but came to a decision you disagree with.

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