Planning appeals

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  • Planning appeals
  • Premier Icon aracer

    Any experts on here? I’d like to know if it’s possible to contest the validity of a planning appeal? The developers have submitted one for a local application despite it not having been determined by the council planning committee. I’m assuming it is an appeal for non-determination – however it is currently less than 3 months since they submitted a major update to their plans (and they still haven’t released all the updated documents). Hence I think it is too early as the council are not required to determine the application yet.

    Presumably there must be some mechanism to prevent developers just submitting appeals for non-determination early (the timescale is an important issue here, as the updated local plan has been submitted but is awaiting examination and adoption)? I don’t see why the developers should get their appeal heard earlier than it has to be. Alternatively are there any possible delaying tactics?


    You can appeal for non-determination as soon as 8 weeks has passed from the point at which the application was validated. In which case, regardless of how recent any updated plans were submitted, the applicant can still appeal for non-determination.

    Given what you say about the examination of the Local Plan, the applicant may be trying to get the application determined before the plan is adopted – perhaps it contains policies that do not favour the application? Has the applicant made representations to the Local Plan?

    Unfortunately I am not aware of there being anything that you can do in order to delay the appeal process. You could group together with other objectors and apply for ‘Rule 6’ status, which means that you could appear yourself at the Inquiry and submit evidence, but this is a costly route. Or, you could appear as a member of the public in order to have your views heard. However, neither of these options will delay the appeal process itself, other than adding to Inquiry time.

    If once the appeal is determined, and it is not the decision you wanted, you could challenge the decision in the High Court in order to have it quashed. Again, this is a costly option, although I have known situations where small groups of objectors have clubbed together and successfully pursued this route.

    What is the application for?

    Sorry cant be of more use – perhaps someone else might have some better knowledge of possible delaying tactics.


    Premier Icon thepurist

    Are there local issues around the application? (Probably a rhetorical question!) If so it’s probably a canny move by the developers to shortcut the local planning committee with all their associated baggage and get it straight in front of an impartial planning inspector who will review the application based on facts rather than opinion.


    Evidence of protected species of wildlife are an excellent way of delaying the process. May or may not be relevant in your case.

    Evidence of Great Crested Newts within 500m of a proposed development locally, delayed and then put the kibosh on the application. The applicants would have needed to complete a GCN survey over a period of weeks which is both time consuming and costly. They didn’t bother getting it done which effectively killed the application dead.


    Great Crested Newt surveys are seasonal – I think the time period for undertaking them this year is pretty much finished – as ninenja says above, if they haven’t completed one, it could invalidate the application, which would mean the appeal would need to be withdrawn.

    Premier Icon aracer

    Thanks for the advice – I do at least know where we stand now. I certainly plan to make representations at the appeal – increasing the inquiry time can’t do any harm, particularly given that if I understand correctly the overall appeal timescale tends to increase as a multiple of the inquiry time. Yes the local plan thing is very important and the developer has put representations in concerning this particular site (thankfully they’ve repeated some of the same errors as they have previously). It’s for a 45 house development which they want to access by knocking down a house in our cul-de-sac (currently only 30 houses) – interestingly the road which the same developer built less than 20 years ago isn’t wide enough to meet the spec. for an access road to 75 houses.

    What is “Rule 6” status, and how does it make a difference to just appearing as a member of the public?

    Hadn’t thought of GCNs – there was an issue raised over bats which hasn’t come to anything (I think there were some there but they managed to raze their habitat before putting in the application).


    This is the best reference for info on ‘Rule 6’ status

    – it basically means you have a more formal role and have to provide written evidence in the form of a statement of case and then a proof, and you can be cross examined by the appellant’s barrister, and vice versa. But you are probably better just making written reps, or appearing to speak as a member of the public.

    If you are making reps to the appeal as a member of public, since it is a housing scheme, some points you may want to consider:

    – is the site allocated for any particular use in the local plan/UDP?
    – if the allocation is not for housing, then the application will be contrary to the development plan, which requires a refusal unless material considerations indicate otherwise.
    – a material consideration which weighs heavily in the appellant’s favour is whether or not the Council can demonstrate a ‘five year supply of deliverable housing sites’ (see paragraph 49 of the NPPF, which is the national planning policy framework, written by government).
    – if the Council cannot demonstrate such a supply, the inspector will most likely look favourably on the appeal proposal (as demonstrated by recent appeal cases).

    Hope this helps.


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