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Should I lodge an appeal?

This is a question that both home owners and developers face if they have received a planning refusal.  It is a question that requires some serious thought.

Nationwide statistics from the Planning Inspectorate suggest that only 30% of development schemes are allowed at appeal – this is a surprising statistic to many and further raises the stakes of any appeal.

So why is the national success rate at appeal so low? We think it is because:

  • People and their agents pursue impossible appeals;
  • Self-submitted appeals concentrate on personal circumstances that rarely hold weight over planning policy.

At Plainview Planning we carefully review all our cases, offering honest up-front advice about planning strategy and your chances of success. If you do not have a chance of success we will tell you.  We think our honest approach to projects is why our three year success rate is 89%.

 

What to bear in mind?

There are certain things that you should bear in mind when considering appealing a planning refusal:

  • Was the application recommended for approval by the Planning Officer and subsequently refused by the Council’s Planning Committee?
  • Do you feel that the Council has made a fundamental error with their interpretation of a specific policy?
  • Are there examples in the local area of similar schemes? Has there been inconsistency in decision making by the Council?

If you can answer yes to any of the questions above, it is likely that you have a reasonably strong case for an appeal.

 

What type of appeal should I lodge?

 

Householder – This is generally the best option for all refusals for extensions and other domestic developments. On average the process takes 12 weeks.

Written Representation - The majority of small scale developments are dealt with via the Written Representations procedure.  This involves the production and exchange of written statements and usually a site visit by the Inspectorate. On average the process takes 26 weeks.

Informal Hearing – If a scheme is  controversial or you feel that your arguments would be better heard face-to-face with the Inspectorate then you might choose to appeal a decision via an Informal Hearing.  Written evidence is still required to be produced but the appeal is discussed and debated around a table with the Inspector asking questions of both the appellant and the Council.

Public Inquiry – The third and final type of planning appeal is a Public Inquiry.  These are usually saved for large controversial schemes or where cross-examination of witnesses is required. A Public Inquiry is quasi-judicial, and can be an intimidating environment where barristers are employed to cross examine those parties required to give evidence. Preparation is key.

If you are looking to appeal a scheme or if you are looking for advice on an upcoming Informal Hearing or Public Inquiry please get in contact with one of our experienced planning professionals who will be able to guide you through the whole process. Email us at appeal@plainview.co.uk.