The Planning Appeals process exists to enable applicants who are displeased with a Local Authority's decision to secure an independant opinion from a Planning Inspector. This could follow the refusal of planning permission or the issuing of an Enforcement Notice.
When an appeal is lodged with the Planning Inspectorate there are three options available: Written Representations, Hearing or a Public Inquiry. The Written Representations procedure is the most common form of appeal and is appropriate for less controversial cases with limited public interest. The process involves an exchange of written statements by both the Local Authority and the appellant, and a site inspection by the Planning Inspector. The Inspector will then go away and prepare their decision.
The Hearing process is for more controversial, yet minor developments and is based on the Written Representations procedure, but culminates in a round table discussion chaired by the Planning Inspector with each side getting the opportunity to present their case. It is often possible for local residents and interested parties to attend and at the Inspectors discretion speak against or for the development.
The third option is a Public Inquiry which are usually reserved for the most controversial and large scale schemes, or those where evidence is required to be given on oath. The process involes the preparation of Proofs of Evidence and the cross-examination of witnesses by Barristers in a forum chaired by the Planning Inspector.
Rob Duncan Planning Consultancy has extensive experience of all of these types of appeal and can provide valuable, professional assistance and experience, as well as acting as a professional witness at Public Inquiries. For some of our recent appeal successes visit our Case Studies page.