Initial response

If the Local Planning Authority (LPA) refuses your planning application or imposes conditions, it will give you written reasons for its decisions. If you are unsure or confused about the outcome, you should talk to a member of the LPA team.

Ask them if changing your plans might make a difference. If your application has been refused, you may be able to submit another application with modified plans free of charge within 12 months of the decision on your first application.

Consider making an appeal

Alternatively, if you think the authority’s decision is unreasonable, you may wish to consider appealing to the Secretary of State. Appeals are submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. However, to make an appeal, you must correctly prepare all the documents, evidence and materials before submitting it. This can take time and it is easy for someone not familiar with planning law to accidentally omit essential information.

When should I lodge the appeal?

For householder and minor commercial appeals, appeals must be lodged within 12 weeks of formal notice of the outcome of your application. Appeals for other types of property must be made within 6 months of the notice of the outcome from the LPA.

Appeals should be the last resort and can take several months to decide.

Consult an expert

The combination of technical and legal knowledge that’s required for a planning appeal means that it is usually best to seek advice from a planning appeals expert. Doing so will almost always be more efficient and cost effective than doing it yourself. Employing a professional planning consultant will also mean your chances of success are much higher than doing it alone.
Residential properties

Where the appeal relates to an application for householder planning consent and is to be determined via the fast-track Householder Appeals Service, there are only 12 weeks to make the appeal.

In some planning permission refusal cases, and where the fast-track service is not used, appeals must be submitted within six months of the date on the decision notice. It is important to establish which deadline applies to you and it is usually best to get professional advice so you can be certain.

Flats, subdivisions, conversions, change of use and new builds

If your development relates to any of the above the procedure will follow the s78 planning appeals process. This means you will have 6 months from the date the application was refused to lodge an appeal. If this deadline is missed the only route forward would  be to submit a new application to the LPA.

Commercial properties

For commercial properties, there are different deadlines for lodging an appeal with the Commercial Appeals Service.

  • appeals related to shop fronts must be submitted within 12 weeks
  • advertisement consent appeals must be submitted within 8 weeks
Appeals when there is an Enforcement Notice

It is crucial to remember that if an appeal on an application for planning permission is linked to enforcement action, there are only 28 days to make the appeal.
If the Local Planning Authority (LPA) refuses your planning application, you should try to come to an agreement with the LPA team. If you can’t reach to an agreement, you can lodge a planning appeal.

The grounds for a planning appeal

You can appeal against a planning decision if the local planning authority (LPA) has done the following:

  • refused you planning permission for reasons that you think go against the LPA’s development plan or planning policy (you can usually find these on their website)
  • granted you planning permission with conditions you object to - you’ll need to explain why you think they’re unnecessary, unenforceable, vague, unreasonable or irrelevant
  • not given you a decision on your application and 8 weeks have passed since the date they told you they’d received it (or a different deadline you agreed with them has passed).
These will often seem like matters of plain fact or common sense. However, in the first two instances you’ll need to understand the detailed reasons for refusal before establishing whether you can apply and on what basis.  To do this you’ll need to fully understand local and national planning policy and what aspects of the LPA’s decision can be most effectively challenged. It is possible to do this yourself but you will need to do so within the time limits set for appeal. Usually it will be quicker and more cost effective, and you will have a greater likelihood of success, if you engage a planning professional.

If your planning application has been refused by the LPA, don’t panic or delay. Contact our expert application appeals team today for further information.
Once the Planning Inspectorate receives a planning appeal, they will review the appeal as efficiently as possible in line with the performance targets.

The time required for an individual appeal will depend partly on the workload in the appeals system, and partly on the complexity of the case. However, you can use these guidelines as an estimate.

Householder Appeals - 80% within 14 - 18 weeks
Full Planning Appeals - 80% within 22 - 30 weeks

Please remember all parties must provide the necessary evidence and meet the procedural deadlines to achieve these timescales. This is where expert planning appeal consultants can help you prepare the evidence on time.
It depends on the type of appeal. Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) have a low rate of success, and full planning applications e.g. building a new dwelling can be moderately successful. However, householder applications are by far the most successful. This category covers things like loft conversions, extensions, window replacements, vehicle crossovers etc.

An appeal is independent of any subsequent planning application. Some of our clients decide to pursue both options, so it is not unusual to lodge an appeal and resubmit to planning at the same time. There is no conflict in taking this approach.
Should your case be overturned the Inspector will 'allow' the appeal and thus grant permission. Some decisions will come with conditions which are typically standard requirements e.g. to commence construction within 3 years or to build in accordance with the correct plans etc. The Planning Inspectorate's decision is independent of the council and will override the initial refusal. In almost all cases you would not need to take any further action at this point other than proceeding with the project in accordance with the required regulation.

If an appeal is unsuccessful the Planning Inspectorate will 'dismiss' the case. However, they will issue a report which will detail their findings, rarely is the Inspector in full agreement with the council. So this often provides a route to redesign the scheme in light of the criticism received at appeal. This can enable you to push for a greater level of development at planning level than you would otherwise hope to achieve.
If you have been refused for a retrospective planning application. That is to say you have already built the development e.g. a rear extension, you still have the right to appeal the council's refusal.

However, if you fail to communicate your intention to appeal a decision there is a high chance an enforcement notice will be issued. This legal document will order you to comply with a set of demands within a fixed period. If you receive an enforcement notice it will dramatically shorten the period of time you have to appeal to as little as 28 days.

For this reason it is preferable in most cases to submit a planning appeal as soon as possible. Taking such measures will normally see the council halt enforcement action whilst the appeal is being determined. LSE Planning will liaise with the council on your behalf to ensure that their enforcement team are aware an appeal is underway.

Should the case be overturned at appeal thus granting full permission for the development, there should be no further action required. However, if the appeal is unsuccessful then you will most likely need to engage with the council's enforcement team, which may result in remedial building works to restore the breach of planning.
Enforcement Notices are legal documents requiring specific actions to remedy a breach of planning control. They are issued where development has taken place without the correct planning permission or outside the conditions of planning permission.

This notice is just one of many actions that authorities can take depending on the circumstances and status of your planning project.

If you have received an Enforcement Notice, you must comply with it unless you can appeal against it in time. If you do not comply and do not appeal, there may be significant consequences. In some cases already completed buildings will have to be taken down.

Don’t worry! Contact our expert planning consultants for advice on any proposed development, or potential or current enforcement action.
Do not ignore an Enforcement Notice.

It is an offence not to comply with an Enforcement Notice by the deadline given unless there is an outstanding appeal. A person guilty of this offence is liable on conviction to an unlimited fine and, rarely but potentially, imprisonment. These penalties are in addition to the practical planning consequences of not responding.
If you do not submit an appeal before the enforcement notice takes effect, you will need to comply with the requirements of the enforcement notice. If you fail to carry out the works required, the Local Planning Authority could prosecute you.

If a Local Planning Authority (LPA) contacts you about an alleged planning control breach, you should address this before formal enforcement action is taken. The most important thing to remember is not to panic and to seek expert advice as soon as possible.
What is a conservation area?

A conservation is an area of notable environmental or historical interest or importance which is protected by law against undesirable changes.

Who decides the conservation areas?

Usually it is the local authority which is responsible for determining which areas should be conservation areas. The decision must be based on a definite architectural quality or point of historical interest to merit designation.

However, Historic England can designate conservation areas in London, following consultation with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The Secretary of State can also designate a conservation area in England in exceptional circumstances – usually where the area is of more than local interest.

Types of conservation areas

There are many different types, including:

  • the centres of our historic villages, towns and cities
  • fishing and mining villages
  • 18th, 19th and 20th-century suburbs
  • model housing estates, including late 20th-century housing projects
  • country houses set in their historic parks
  • historic transport links and their environs, such as stretches of canal and railway and airfields
  • industrial heritage sites
What is a Conservation Area?

A Conservation Area is one which has a specific architectural quality or historic interest that merits protection. A conservation area is often composed of numerous streets and applies to all property which falls into the zone.

What is a Listed Building?

Listed Building status is applied to individual properties or structures which have been placed on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Being a listed building means that there are limitations as to what type of work can be done to it. Typically these are about the materials used in renovation and about maintaining its original character and appearance.

Different types of listed building status

There are three types of listed status for buildings in England and Wales:

  • Grade I: buildings of exceptional interest.
  • Grade II*: particularly important buildings of more than special interest.
  • Grade II: buildings that are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them.
How does a building get listed status?
Listing marks and celebrates a building’s special architectural and historic interest, and protects it for current and future generations to enjoy. A building may be listed due to its age, its rarity, its aesthetic appeal or because it represents just a select few of its kind that are still standing. Listing is under the authority of Historic England, with enforcement of the status being delegated to local authorities.