Planning Appeals

An applicant who has submitted a planning application has the right of appeal to the Secretary of State at the Planning Inspectorate under the following circumstances:

  • If the application has been refused, or has had planning permission granted subject to certain conditions, which it is considered are inappropriate. 
  • Failure of West Somerset Council to give notice of its decision within the appropriate period (usually 8 weeks).

The appeal is submitted directly to the Planning Inspectorate who through individually appointed Planning Inspectors will determine the appeal on behalf of the Secretary of State.  It is the aim of the Planning Service that an appeal should be a last resort and only applicable in cases where the Council and the applicant have not been able to reach an agreement on a revised or alternative scheme. 

The Planning Service will, where appropriate, seek to negotiate an acceptable form of development either during the application stage or post decision where the applicant is considering the resubmission of another scheme, which in most cases would be free (no additional planning fee) within twelve months from the date of refusing the first application.

The time period for making an appeal is 6 months for applications, apart from household applications where it is 12 weeks, from the date of the Decision Notice. 

In addition, for applications for advertisement consent where the Council's decision was due on or after 1 October 2013 or in the case of appeal against non-determination where the Council's decision was due on or after 1 October 2013 the time period for making an appeal is 8 weeks (from the date of the Decision Notice, as applicable).

Also, for applications for minor commercial development (alterations to shops, offices, restaurants and cafes, drinking establishments and hot food takeaways) where the Council's decision was due on or after 1 October 2013 or in the case of appeal against non-determination where the Council's decision was due on or after 1 October 2013, the time period for making an appeal is 12 weeks (from the date of the Decision Notice, as applicable).

Further representations can now be made, apart from for household applications, advertisement consent applications and minor commercial (shop front) applications where only representations made at the application stage are taken forward.

Planning appeals are dealt with by one of the following three ways:

  • Written representations - the applicant and the local authority will submit a written statement explaining their cases.  The Planning Inspectorate provide guidance for written representations on the Planning Portal. 
  • Informal Hearings - where the applicant and local authority submit their written statement of case and then meet informally with an Inspector to discuss the issues.  The Planning Inspectorate provide guidance for informal hearings on the Planning Portal.
  • Public Inquiry - a formal process similar in operation to a court of law where the applicant and local authority can be cross examined and call witnesses.  The Planning Inspectorate provide guidance for public inquiries on the Planning Portal.

Depending upon the method chosen this will determine how long the process will take before the Planning Inspectorate issue their decision.  Those who were initially consulted on the planning application and/or wrote in with their representations will be notified in writing by the Council that a planning appeal has been lodged.  They can write to the Planning Inspectorate at Bristol giving their views on the planning application.   This is however not the case with household applications, advertisement consent applications and minor commercial (shop front) applications where only representations made at the application stage are taken forward.

The Planning Inspectorate will send a copy of the decision to the Local Planning Authority and anyone else who is entitled to a copy or who has asked for one.

Further information on the appeal process and making an appeal.