Advice & representation through all stages of the planning process, from initial council negotiations, objections, permission, to appeals against planning refusals, including:

  • development & site appraisals
  • planning applications
  • objections by third parties
  • negotiations with council planning authorities
  • presentations at council committees
  • permission & conditions
  • listed buildings & conservation areas
  • Green Belt & countryside planning
  • appeals against refusals of consent
  • advocacy at hearings
  • lawful development/use certificates
  • planning and infrastructure agreements
  • enforcement of planning controls
  • appeals against enforcement
  • compulsory purchase & compensation
  • joint venture agreements subject to planning issues



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    “A massive thank you again for all your hard work and dedication in appealing our enforcement notice. We are incredibly grateful and would have no hesitation in recommending your services to others (in fact, we already have!)” (Hackney, London)

    Planning appeals, applications & objections

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    Planning advice: firm foundation for decisions

    Advice & representation in negotiations with planning council officers, planning applications, planning law, status reviews, planning permission advice, planning appeals against refusals, council planning policies, Green Belt issues, objections to planning applications, High Court challenges, planning enforcement appeals, changes of use, lawful development certificates, hearings, inquiries, written representations & committee meetings.

    Is planning permission needed?

    Planning permission is required for the “carrying out of any development on land”.

    Development is defined as the “carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under the land or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land”.

    Planning permission can either be granted by the local planning authority (LPA) or deemed by a development order such as the General Permitted Development Order 2015 (GPDO 2015).

    If planning permission is required from the LPA, a planning application will need to be submitted.

    What is a planning application?

    A planning application may be for outline or detailed permission.

    An application for outline planning permission seeks to establish whether the scale and nature of a proposed development is acceptable. Fewer details about the proposal are required. Once outline permission is granted, approval of reserved matters must be obtained before work can commence.

    An application for a full or detailed planning permission includes all the necessary details to enable the development to proceed once planning permission has been granted.

    There is no statutory definition of “planning application” but the phrase “application for planning permission” within the TCPA 1990 is taken to mean an application for permission and not an application for the approval of reserved matters.

    Householder planning applications

    A Householder Application can be used to apply for permission for works to alter or enlarge a single house, including works within the garden of a house (but not e.g. an adjoining paddock), such as:

    • extensions
    • conservatories
    • loft conversions
    • dormer windows
    • alterations
    • garages
    • car ports or outbuildings
    • swimming pools
    • walls
    • fences
    • vehicular access
    • porches
    • satellite dishes.

    Planning application decision

    The LPA may:

    • Grant planning permission unconditionally.
    • Grant planning permission subject to such conditions as they think fit.
    • Refuse planning permission.

    In making the decision the LPA must have regard to:

    • The Development Plan, so far as is material to the application.
    • Any local finance considerations, so far as is material to the application.

    Any other material considerations.

    Planning needed for development

    Planning application refused? When can you appeal?

    Usually, you will have 6 months from the date of a decision notice to file a planning appeal. However, if you have a Householder Application that was refused, then any appeal must be filed within 12 weeks.

    Under Section 78 of the TCPA 1990, there is a right of appeal where:

    • Planning permission has been refused.
    • Planning permission has been granted, but the LPA has imposed conditions that the applicant considers unacceptable.
    • Outline planning permission has been granted, but a planning application for the approval of reserved matters has been refused.
    • The reserved matters application has been approved, but the LPA has imposed conditions that the applicant considers unacceptable.
    • The LPA has refused an approval required by a condition on a planning permission.
    • The LPA has granted consent for an approval required by a condition, but has imposed conditions that the applicant considers unacceptable.
    • The LPA has not determined the planning application within the statutory time period allowed, which is usually eight weeks from registration of the planning application by the LPA.
    • The LPA has refused an approval required under the General Permitted Development Order 2015 (GPDO 2015), a local development order or a neighbourhood development order.
    • The LPA has granted an approval required under the GPDO 2015, a local development order or a neighbourhood development order but has imposed conditions that the applicant considers unacceptable.

    Types of planning appeal

    There are 3 types of planning appeal:

    • Written representations (including fast-track Householder Appeals).
    • Hearings.
    • Local inquiries.

    Challenges to planning appeal decisions

    A challenge to a decision made by a Planning Inspector during the processing of an appeal cannot be challenged in the High Court. Instead, an application for judicial review should be made.

    A planning appeal decision can only be challenged on a point of law in the High Court. An application must be made within 6 weeks following the date of the decision letter. If the challenge is successful, the High Court will overturn the decision and return the case to the Planning Inspectorate to reconsider. The general principles of judicial review are applicable to a challenge under section 288 of the TCPA 1990. The claimant must establish that the decision-maker misdirected himself in law or acted irrationally or failed to have regard to relevant considerations or that there was some procedural impropriety.

    What is a breach of planning control?

    A breach of planning control occurs if development that requires planning permission is carried out without planning permission.

    The Council has discretion whether to pursue a perceived breach of planning control or not.

    As an initial step, it might issue a Planning Contravention Notice to probe for further information.

    Ultimately, the Council may issue an Enforcement Notice. Such a notice can be appealed if an appeal is considered viable. It would need to be submitted to the independent Planning Inspectorate before the date on which the notice takes effect. This date is shown on your enforcement notice and should be at least 28 days from when a copy of the enforcement notice was served on you.

    Green Belt land

    The first thing is to establish whether or not the land in question does indeed fall within the statutory Green Belt.

    If it does there are likely to be several hurdles to overcome, but all development in the Green Belt is not ruled out:

    • Existing buildings on the land could be the catalyst for conversion.
    • “Very special circumstances” could be argued in favour of new development.
    • Semi-rural buildings could be applied for as “appropriate development.
    • Providing a level of “affordable housing” can often be attractive to local planning authorities as “tipping the balance” in favour of development.

    Planning appraisals, applications, objections, appeals

    Grounds for objecting to a planning application

    When making a decision on a planning application the LPA must take into account a number of factors including material considerations.

    Material considerations include matters such as:

    • Overshadowing.
    • Overlooking or loss of privacy.
    • Adequate parking and servicing.
    • Overbearing nature of proposal.
    • Loss of trees.
    • Loss of ecological habitats.
    • Design and appearance.
    • Layout and density of buildings.
    • Effect on listed buildings and conservation areas.
    • Access or highways safety.
    • Traffic generation.
    • Noise and disturbance from the proposed development.
    • Disturbance from smells.
    • Public visual amenity, but not loss of private individual’s view.
    • Flood risk.
    • Risk of creating a precedent.

    Factors which are not material considerations (and cannot be taken into account by the LPA) include:

    • Loss of value to individual property.
    • Loss of view.
    • Boundary disputes including encroachment of foundations and gutters.
    • Private covenants or agreements.
    • The applicant’s personal conduct or history.
    • The applicant’s motives.
    • Potential profit for the applicant or from the application.
    • Private rights to light.
    • Private rights of way.
    • Damage to property.
    • Disruption during any construction phase.
    • Loss of trade or competitors
    • Age, health, status, background, work patterns of the objector.
    • Time taken to do the work.
    • Capacity of private drains.
    • Building or structural techniques.
    • Alcohol or gaming licences.

    Whether or not a particular consideration is a material consideration has been decided by the Courts. However, it is a matter for the LPA to decide the weight should be given to a material consideration.

    Planning permission: applications, refusals & appeals