In the event that an application is refused, or not determined by the Local Authority within statutory timeframes, then the applicant has the right to appeal within a certain period. A planning appeal can be submitted for any planning application. In the event that an Enforcement Notice is served, all parties with an interest in the land to which it relates have the right to make an appeal before the Notice takes effect. All appeals are made to the Secretary of State who deals with them through the Planning Inspectorate and an appointed inspector.
As with Planning Applications, we provide a complete service from start to finish acting as agents and providing a range of services. We can produce detailed appeal statements, proofs of evidence, statements of common ground and applications for an award of costs where it is felt that the Local Authority has acted unreasonably. Where necessary we can also co-ordinate external consultants to provide specialist evidence as an “expert witness”. We can also advise on the right barrister for your appeal (if necessary).
As every appeal is different, we will ensure that the right resources are dedicated to ensuring a successful outcome. Please contact us for a free no obligation quote.
Methods of Appeal
Written representations are the simplest way of presenting a case and is the method used for the majority of planning appeals. In this situation a decision will be made solely on the written information provided to them, through the original application documents and appeal statements. Evidence is not cross examined between parties, and there normally is not the opportunity to clarify points, or answer questions from the inspector. Depending on whether or not the site is publically visible the Inspector may arrange a site visit, where they may understand the proposal in context. Parties are able to point out relevant points made in relation to context and setting, however new evidence normally can not be brought forward at this time.
Hearings allow multiple views to be heard and discussed from all interested parties. They are an effective way of presenting planning arguments to an inspector in person, without the more formal atmosphere of an inquiry. A hearing allows an inspector to examine important issues in depth by asking questions of the organisations and persons involved, and are usually completed in one day or less. However where there is high degree of public interest and consequential turnout by local residents or interested parties, this may take slightly more time. All hearings include a site visit, where the inspector can understand the proposal in context. On most occasions parties are able to point out relevant points made in relation to context and setting, however new evidence normally can not be brought forward at this time. All hearings include a site visit, where the inspector can understand the proposal in context. Parties are able to point out relevant points made in relation to context and setting, however new evidence normally can not be brought forward at this time.
Public Inquiries are the most formal process and also the most in depth. They are normally used when there is a significant difference in views between parties, and where in depth examination and cross examination is required. Examination and cross examination is conducted by counsel, instructed by the appellant and Local Authority on each side. Counsel will have the opportunity to pose questions to each of their parties expert witnesses, which are then subject to cross examination from the other site. If necessary, re-examination will take place, third parties will have the opportunity to examine parties and the Inspector may choose to pose their own questions, should their points not have been covered elsewhere, or if clarification is required. This is done for each party. 2 days, sometimes stretching into 2 weeks, and will conclude with a site visit. In some rare cases appeals may have to be conducted at two sittings, weeks apart.
Things to note
Please note that all documentation must be received by the Planning Inspectorate before they will validate an appeal, and therefore if all information is not received within the required timeframe the appeal will be ignored. Therefore, if you are planning on making an appeal, it is advised to begin the process as early as possible. Furthermore under National Planning Practice Guidance the Local Authority have the right to make an application for costs if they feel that an applicant has acted unreasonably. We will advise you if we feel that submitting an appeal is likely to be perceived as such, and suggest alternatives where necessary. It is worth remembering that a new application can run alongside an appeal, which if it is the first revision of scheme, should be free of charge if submitted within 12 months of the decision.