This Planning Appeals video was updated in October 2020.
Just because your local planning authority planning officer has refused your application does not mean the process has to end there.Decision notices can often look very final, and they contain lots of wordy policies both local and national. But what if I told you that when checked, the policy numbers quoted don’t always relate to what is being implied?
Policies are not law
When investigated further, we sometimes find that policies are being misrepresented, or are being used incorrectly or inappropriately. This opens up opportunities for a well-structured, robust and comprehensive appeal to overcome them. And that’s all before we even start on the main arguments against the refusal!
It is also important to remember that local policies are just that – policies. They are not legislative and as such are interpretable, something a planning inspector will assess during an appeal.
Recently, the country has undergone massive changes with both working practices and home life due to COVID-19. It is very much the case that the current local policies do not reflect in any way life today. In many cases, this can open up opportunities to win which were not available previously. You have a right to oppose your planning refusal.
Always see your first planning application through
During the planning application process, many applicants don’t receive feedback or help from the local planning officer prior to a decision being issued. This removes their chance to alter the plans mid-application and achieve planning permission.
Sometimes, applicants are persuaded into withdrawing their application with the threat of a refusal. Withdrawing the application serves very few people with a positive outcome. Instead, this results in you having no chance to appeal, and leaves you with no true understanding of why it is not being accepted for approval.
If a decision notice is issued, even if you wish to submit an new application, you are better off doing so having received a decision notice. This is so you have something to work from and use as part of your new application. I deal with too many clients who have withdrawn their first application only to be no further forward and receive a refusal on the second application.
The Planning Inspectorate
It is often the case that a refusal comes after objections or even unfair influence had been made. I speak with many clients who have had a ‘political refusal’ as we call them. These types of refusals are effectively why there is a planning appeal system. Removing the local planning department from the equation is probably your best option if this has happened.
The Planning Inspectorate is a government-based organisation that is appointed by the Secretary of State to handle all types of planning appeals. Based out of Bristol and covering England and Wales, the Planning Inspectorate gives you a second chance of success, by taking the decision process away from your local authority.
As an organisation, HEAL Planning is one of the leading appeals specialists with both dedicated in-house planning and legal teams, whose job it is to win your case. Both these skill sets are invaluable in producing a robust and compelling case to gain a win. You won’t find many organisations in our industry that have both a planning and legal team, and it is a major factor in our success rate.
Without appealing your application refusal, you cannot gain the permission you are seeking!
If you would like a free no obligation consultation with a member of our team please call us on 01743 369911