Our planning consultants have submitted more than 1000 appeals in the last three years. That means they have read at least 1000 appeal decisions. They know how planning inspectors think - what arguments sway them and what approaches just don't work. These are our top tips for winning a planning appeal.
1. Have a good proposal
This one will seem obvious, but there is no appoint in appealing a bad application. Some applications deserve to be refused permission. If you know in your heart that you hired a cheap architect, then it may be worth hiring a better one and starting again. You may also suspect that you have asked for too much - everyone told you that your extension was just too big, but you pressed ahead anyway. If so, consider reducing its size and reapplying.
You may need some good, independent advice. When you are the applicant, it is hard to see the wood for the trees. That we why we offer a low cost, £99 case review service. One of our experienced planners will review your case and give you direct, unbiased advice. We will tell you whether to resubmit, appeal or go back to the drawing board.
2. Be brief
When appealing, you need to produce an appeal statement. This is a document in which you make your case and try to persuade the inspector (the person who decided your appeal) that planning permission should be granted. The temptation is to write a long, wordy statement. This is a mistake. Work out what the key issues are in your appeal, and tackle those.
We have written a separate article on how to write an appeal statement - check it out.
3. Don't rant, get angry or get personal
You are understandably very angry that permission has been refused. Almost every client who contact us is bewildered at how difficult and unfriendly the application process was - how the case officer would not communicate, how they were misled and how it seems so unfair.
This is not of interest to your appeal inspector. Their job is to decide whether your application proposal should be given planning permission - the council's behaviour is not relevant. It is very important to focus on the planning issues only.
4. Research other decisions and appeals
The council's planning website will have details of our applications, and often other appeals, that have been considered in your area. If you research those decisions, you will get an understanding of the main planning issues and you will get a sense of whether you are on the right track. If other appeals for similar proposals have not been successful, it is not a good sign.
5. Why not just hire us?
The best way to win an appeal if to hire our lovely, hard-working and experience chartered planning consultants. We have all worked in local councils as planning case officers and in the private sector. We have worked on more householder appeals than you have had hot dinners. We know what to say and how to say it. We will maximise your chances of success. The best thing is that we charge a low, one--off fee of only £399. Find out more on our appeals page.
Whether you decide to go it alone, to hire us or to hire someone else, the important thing is to exercise your right to appeal. Good luck!