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1 February 2018

Only the person who made the planning application (the applicant) or who is the subject of an enforcement notice has the right to appeal. There is no third party right of appeal unless the decision is challenged in the courts on a point of law; for example concerns exist about the way in which the decision has been made and/or whether the correct procedures have been followed.

Planning decision appeals

In respect of planning decisions, there are three main types of appeal: 

  • An appeal against the decision to refuse planning permission by the local planning authority;
  • An appeal when no planning decision has been made by the local planning authority within the statutory period; and
  • An appeal against one or a number of conditions imposed as part of a planning permission issued by the local planning authority.
How appeals are determined 
There are three main types of planning appeal procedure:
  • Written representation - The appellant and the local planning authority each submit a written statement of their case and a decision is made based on those statements;
  • Informal Hearing - The appellant and the local planning authority each submit a written statement of their case and then meet an Inspector to discuss the issues informally with an Inspector;
  • Public Inquiry - A formal process where the applicant  and local planning authority are normally represented by Counsel who presents each side’s case to the Inspector and calls witnesses to give and cross-examine evidence.  


People who are interested in the outcome of an appeal have an important role to play in the planning process. Their representations indicating support for, or opposition to, a proposed scheme are taken into account by the Inspector along with other material considerations.
Most appeals are determined by Planning Inspectors on behalf of the Secretary of State.  However, the Secretary of State also has the power to make the decision on an appeal – known as a ‘recovered appeal’.  Further information on the legislation covering planning appeals and the different appeal formats can be found here.

Enforcement Notice Appeals 

Anyone who has been served with an Enforcement Notice may submit an appeal to the Secretary of State through the Planning Inspectorate provided that this is done before the Enforcement Notice takes place. A guide to Enforcement appeals is available.