The council must give reasons if a planning application is refused, and if it is approved conditions may be imposed which must be complied with, often before any works can start.
If an applicant is not satisfied with the decision or with conditions imposed on the permission, they may appeal.
An appeal must be lodged within three months from the date of the decision notice. Appeals may be dealt with either by written representations, an informal hearing or by a public local inquiry.
The latter is presided over by an inspector appointed by the First Secretary of State and follows formal procedures. At informal hearings an inspector would lead a discussion to find out both the appellant's case and the council's. The written representations procedure is generally quicker and easier and avoids the expense of an inquiry. The decision of the First Secretary of State is final and can only be challenged in the High Court on a point of law.
Alternatively, objections to the development may be overcome by an amended scheme. A further application for a similar proposal may be submitted within 12 months of a refusal without having to pay an additional fee. Discussion with the appropriate planning officer should indicate whether this is likely to be a speedier course of action than lodging an appeal.
A fast-track procedure for householder appeals proceeds on the basis of written representations.
The period within which to appeal is 12 weeks, and they appeals are determined within eight weeks. Third parties and any consultees do not have the opportunity to comment at the appeal stage. All comments made at the application stage are carried forward and considered by the inspector, unless the person who made the comments wants them withdrawn.
Householder appeals do not include appeals against any grant of planning permission, consent, agreement or approval which is granted subject to conditions. Appeals not included are those against a failure to determine a householder application and those against applications for listed building consent or conservation area consent.