Your planning appeal has been dismissed. What’s next? The first thing to understand is—this isn’t the end of the line.
As a landowner, planning appeals can prove time and energy-consuming. So it’s fair to say that when a planning appeal is dismissed, the situation can prove hopeless.
But, if you’re determined to get the planning permission you deserve and realise the value of your land, there are avenues you can explore.
Yes, it is possible to address a dismissed appeal decision—and we’re going to explain how.
What does it mean if a planning appeal is dismissed?
Addressing a planning appeal refusal will come at a cost. While this is the case, if you can obtain planning permission, your efforts will prove worthwhile in the long run.
If your planning appeal is dismissed, it essentially means that the local authority perceives your case or re-submission as problematic. There are several reasons for planning appeal dismissals, including:
- Character & appearance: Often, an appeal is dismissed because your proposal isn’t aligned to the look and feel of the surrounding area. In this case, you could work with an architect to go through the proposals and make amendments to the design that ultimately overcome the inspector’s concerns.
- Residential amenity: Often, the inspector will cite an unacceptable impact on your neighbours’ everyday lives or movements. If this is the case, you can revisit your proposal to address these issues directly, bulking up structural planting or redesigning elevations, for example.
- Impact on biodiversity & arboriculture: Concerns surrounding a higher level of biodiversity migration onsite is another common reason for planning refusal. In this instance, you could potentially strip back your proposals to ensure there is less impact on surrounding trees or vegetation, for example.
- Unacceptable highways impact: Unsafe or unacceptable site access or infrastructure typically results in planning appeal refusal. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s possible to strip back your proposals to reduce the inappropriate impact on the highways network surrounding your land.
Appealing against an inspector’s planning appeal decision
A planning appeal success rate will vary depending on where you’re based and the type of development you’re proposing—but as a rule of thumb, one in three appeals are greenlighted on first attempt.
An inspector may only disagree with one aspect of your scheme to issue a dismissal. After reading the dismissal decision in detail, you may find that you only need to make one small amendment to secure planning permission.
But, even if you’re required to change one aspect of your proposal, it is mandatory to resubmit your planning application in full, and you will incur application fees in the process. You will also need to seek the renewal of any supporting reports that are out of date.
After reading the planning appeal decision back in detail, you might feel that the inspector’s ruling is unjust—or in simple terms, they have made a legal error.
If you’re certain this is the case, you can take the case to a high court via a judicial review. That said, you should be aware that this could prove costly and to navigate the case successfully, you must seek the professional representation.
When appealing a decision through the high court, you will have six weeks from the initial appeal dismissal to claim and submit all official documents.
At this point, a judge will decide whether the case has enough grounds to proceed and rule whether the issue is ‘arguable.’ If your claim is permitted to proceed, it becomes subject to a hearing in a planning court—which will ultimately determine whether a judicial review is granted.
Once granted, a judge will make a decision through a written document. One of the most common outcomes is that a decision under challenge becomes quashed, forcing a decision-maker to re-make the ‘unlawful’ decision.
Effectively, this means the local authority will need to reanalyse your original appeal within the remit of the law. If your appeal is subsequently accepted, the local planning authority may have to pay ‘costs’ (the legal costs of the winning party). While this is the preferred outcome, the losing party can apply to contest any final decision to the Court of Appeal.
Contesting a planning appeal refusal isn’t something to take lightly, and you must read through the decision in fine detail before taking action.
It is a challenging process to navigate, but with the right approach and planning appeal expertise, you can reach a positive outcome for your land.
We hope this advice helps you on your journey and for more essential insights, read our guide to how long planning permission lasts.