Appealing a decision


An applicant can appeal against a planning refusal, against a condition on a planning permission or if the Council has failed to decide an application within the statutory target period. Anyone who has been served with an enforcement notice can appeal against the notice. There is no third party right of appeal.

Planning Appeals

If an applicant is aggrieved by the decision of the Area Planning Authority to refuse an application, or grant planning permission subject to conditions, they may appeal against the decision to the Planning Inspectorate. The Planning Inspectorate are a Government organisation and are totally independent from the Council and the applicant.

If the Council fails to decide the application within their statutory target date (usually 8 weeks), the applicant may also appeal to the Planning Inspectorate against this failure.

You can find out how to make an appeal and the time limits for making each type of appeal on the Planning Inspectorate

Please note that there is no third-party right of appeal - only the applicant or their agent may appeal against a planning decision.

When the Planning Inspectorate inform us that they have received an appeal, we will notify all those that made representations to the original application. You can track the progress of an appeal via the Planning Inspectorate. You will need their reference number (which starts APP/N0410) in order to search.

Our copy of the appeal paperwork is available for the public to view at the Council Offices at Capswood during office hours. Certain documents, including the Grounds of Appeal and the appeal decision (once available), can also be viewed by inputting the Council's planning application number into 'Application Search' (not Appeal Search) on Public Access.

Types of planning appeals

  • Householder appeals - Householder applications are dealt with using the householder appeal service. After the initial submission of documents by the appellant and the Council, there is no opportunity for any party, including the Council, to submit further representations. The Inspector will determine the appeal based on the information supplied.

For all other appeals, the Council can make a written case why the original reasons for refusal should be upheld. Anyone who is interested in the appeal is also able to submit representations to the Planning Inspectorate. Each party also has an opportunity to comment on the other's statement and evidence.

Non householder appeals will be dealt with in one of three ways:

  • Written Representations - all evidence and decision making is done in writing. Most people opt for written representations as this usually means a quicker decision.
  • Informal Hearing - once all written evidence has been submitted, a discussion of the issues will be held in front of an Inspector but without the formality and legal trappings of a full Public Inquiry.
  • Public Inquiry - once all written evidence has been submitted, an Inspector will hear evidence from the appellant, the Council and any other interested parties and there is a chance to cross-examine witnesses. Public Inquiries are usually held in more complex cases where the proposed development has wider implications. The proceedings are similar in some ways to a court of law as each side is normally represented by a solicitor or barrister.

In general, the appeal process can take some time, so it may be preferable to submit a revised scheme to the Council. You may wish to make use of our pre-application advice service prior to submitting a revised scheme.

Enforcement Appeals

The Enforcement appeals process is designed for anyone who has been served with an Enforcement Notice.  There are specific grounds that you can appeal on and an Enforcement Notice appeal must be received by the Planning Inspectorate before the "Effective date" given on the Notice. The appeal procedure will either be Written Representations, Informal Hearing or Public Inquiry as set out above. More information and advice on the Enforcement appeal process can be found on the Planning Inspectorate

Details of recent enforcement appeals in South Bucks Area.