I Have Been Refused Planning Permission

The Planning Acts provide for an opportunity of re submission of any planning application under “The Free Go Rule” within certain time frames and subject to certain criteria.

This may allow an application that has been refused previously to be thoroughly revised in an attempt to deal with the Local Planning Authority’s (L.P.A.) reasons for refusal.

If the LPA maintain their reasons for refusal these must be analysed,researched and fully examined against planning law and policy in order to discover the merits or otherwise in making an appeal to the Independent Planning Inspectorate.

This is based in Bristol and carries out an examination into the reasons given for refusal by Local Planning Authorities in a three-tiered system of appeals, which are:

  • Written Representations Appeal
  • Informal Hearing Appeal
  • Public Inquiry

Nowadays the Inspectorate has the largest say in how an appeal is allocated to each tier.

Written Appeal

A written representation appeal is dealt with by the submission of statements and other documents, both by the Appellant and by the Local Planning Authority and sometimes by other Statutory Consultees, e.g. Water Authority or Highways Authority.

Each party will comment in writing on each other’s statements before a site visit is made by the Inspector appointed. The Inspector will examine the statements and the parties can point out matters of fact at the site meeting, but there is no discussion as to the fundamental merits or otherwise of the respective planning cases. A written decision will be made, which of course can grant planning permission, within a few weeks of the site visit.

Informal Hearing

Each party produces a hearing statement and the process relates to an informal discussion when the appellant and the Council discuss an agenda set by the inspector. Members of the public can attend as well as specialist Council officers but no cross examination of any party is allowed.

The Inspector, if requested, will quite often ensure that discussions continue on site and his report will be issued a few weeks after the conclusion of the Hearing.

Public Inquiry

A Public Enquiry is dealt with by the formal submission of witness, planning, legal and other statements, together with an allowance for cross-examination and rebuttal proofs by each party to the appeal. Often legal and other submissions are made during or at the end of the Public Enquiry and the Appellant has the final word.

Any one that seeks to attend and make a statement is allowed within the rules of evidence and often third parties appear e.g. Pressure Groups. The process is formal and strict protocol is followed.

Whilst the Inspector visits the site there is no opportunity for a further dialogue on the merits of the appeal. A formal written decision is made by the Inspector and delivered to all parties within a few weeks. Often legal and other submissions are made during the Inquiry.

Our Consultants will advise on the best way to proceed to appeal noting that in all three tiers appellants generally carry the day on about 40% of appeals.

However P.P.S. will advise on the most propitious method to deal with an appeal, noting the three-tier system and seek to achieve a much higher percentage of success than normal. This results from expertise and experience, together with fully qualified and professional advice throughout the process.

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