Planning Permission: What Happens If You’re Refused Permission And How To Challenge A Decision

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If you have had your planning application refused, whether it is for an extension to your home or a larger redevelopment, it can be disruptive. Alternatively, you may have been granted consent but with onerous conditions imposed that make your plans impractical or overly expensive.

At Lockings Solicitors, our expert planning solicitors have an in-depth understanding of the planning system and how to deal with complex planning situations and refusals. We also help clients with reapplications where planning consent has lapsed as well as advice in respect of enforcement notices.

Waiting for planning permission

Once you have submitted a planning application, there will be a process of public consultation during which time anyone likely to be impacted by your proposals will have the opportunity to raise any concerns they may have.

If you keep in contact with the planning authority during this time, you will be able to find out what objections, if any, have been raised. If an objection appears to be serious, you have the opportunity to make minor changes to your proposal to take these into account or alternatively undertake to address these concerns in some way when carrying out the work. This could help avoid a planning refusal.

Where you believe that the objections may be serious enough to warrant a refusal, you have the option to withdraw your application and revise it before resubmitting. There is not generally a further fee for resubmission for a small planning application, provided it is resubmitted within a year.

When planning permission is refused

If your application for planning permission is refused, you have three months within which to start an appeal, so you need to move quickly. If you are a developer, you will usually have up to six months.

The planning authority will advise you on how to appeal, which could be by:

  • Written submissions
  • Informal hearing – usually reserved for developments where there is considerable public interest
  • Public enquiry – only for major developments

For most homeowners, a planning appeal will be in writing.

The local authority will also give you the reasons why your application was refused. You can ask them whether resubmitting an amended plan might be successful.

When can I appeal refused planning permission?

You are usually allowed to appeal a refused planning permission that you do not believe to be fair as well as a planning consent that has conditions attached that you do not agree with.

In some cases, it may be a better course of action to amend your proposals and submit an amended application. If your initial application does not comply with existing planning rules, then your appeal is not likely to be successful.

What do I include in a planning appeal?

When making a planning appeal, you need to include the following:

  • A copy of your planning application form 
  • A copy of the decision letter from your local planning authority
  • The plans, drawings and other documents referred to in your planning application
  • Copies of any correspondence you have had with the local planning authority and any other interested party
  • A statement of case setting out your point of view

Statement of case for planning appeal

Your statement of case should set out the key points in your appeal and include any relevant evidence. 

Each point that the planning authority made in refusing your application should be addressed.

Issues raised by others should also be responded to, even if they were not on their own a reason for refusal.

All relevant facts and planning or legal arguments should be set out and full legal citations included wherever case law is cited.

You can mention policies or documents which you believe support your case and also raise mitigating factors if you believe there are any. You should not link to websites other than public sector websites.

The statement should not exceed 3,000 words and should include a summary of your arguments.

How long does a planning appeal take?

A planning appeal is likely to take at least five months, with the local authority’s initial response within six weeks, after which you will have the chance to comment. Other individuals, such as neighbours, who may be affected by your planning request will also be able to give their input.

Judicial review of planning refusal

In some cases, it may be possible to ask for a judicial review of a planning decision, where you believe that the local authority has not acted properly. Instances where you may be entitled to a judicial review include where:

  • Power has been wrongly exercised
  • The local authority did not have the authority to make the decision that it did
  • The law has not been correctly applied
  • The decision was not rational
  • Relevant issues were not properly considered in making the decision
  • The proper legal process was not followed

If you believe that you are entitled to a judicial review, you should act quickly as there is a deadline of six weeks from the date of issue of your planning refusal.

If a judicial review upholds your points, your planning application will not automatically be granted, but the local authority will be required to reconsider it. It may therefore be a better option to launch an appeal. You are advised to speak to a legal planning expert before deciding which route to take.

If your planning appeal is rejected

The Planning Inspectorate advises that only around one in three appeals are successful. Taking professional advice from an expert planning solicitor can help you put forward the strongest possible case during your appeal. If your appeal has been rejected, then you should look at the grounds on which this has happened and see whether you can change your plans to comply with the local authority’s requirements. You can then submit a fresh application.


Contact our planning solicitors in Beverley, Hull and York.


At Lockings Solicitors, we can help you appeal a planning application refusal. We will go through your initial application and give you our honest advice as to your chances of a successful challenge. We have a good understanding of the local planning requirements in East Yorkshire and we will give you the benefit of our opinion as to the best way to proceed.

If you would have any planning questions or you would like to discuss your case with one of our East Yorkshire legal team, ring us on 01482 300 200, email us at or fill in our contact form and we will call you back promptly for a FREE initial chat.

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