Planning applicants may
(a) appeal against a refusal of planning permission
(b) challenge conditions attached to a permission, or
(c) appeal against the planning authority’s failure to determine a planning application within the statutory period.
A form is available for this purpose. Planning Appeals are dealt with by the Scottish Government’s Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals.
Appellants will be required to submit a statement of appeal which should include full particulars of the appeal and the matters which the appellant thinks ought to be taken into account. All relevant documents, materials and evidence upon which the appeal will rely must also accompany this form. All matters which an appellant intends to raise in the appeal must be set out in their appeal or in the accompanying documents.
The Appeal Regulations provide that additional matters or further documents may only be introduced in very limited circumstances. For example, if, in its response to an appeal, the planning authority raises matters which had not previously featured in its decision on the application, then it would be possible to comment and submit additional documents on those matters. If an appeal is made against the non-determination of an application by the planning authority, at that stage the appellant will have an opportunity to respond to the planning authority’s view (which would be unknown to the appellant at the time the appeal was made.)
Other interested parties (who had previously expressed a view on the planning application) will be advised of the appeal to Scottish Ministers. If they provide further comments in respect of the appeal, the appellant will be entitled to respond to those comments before a final decision is made.
Nevertheless, depending on the terms of the planning authority’s (and any other party’s) response to the appeal and the possible need for any further procedure (see below), the point at which the appellant lodges the appeal might be their only opportunity to state their case. They must be content that they have raised all relevant issues.
A key principle behind the process of making an appeal to Scottish Ministers is that the appeal should be based on the same proposal and the same information that was before the planning authority at the time that it considered your planning application.
Under section 47A of the Planning Act, parties involved in an appeal are not entitled to raise any new matter during the appeal process that was not before the planning authority at the time it made its decision on the application unless they can demonstrate:
• that it could not have been raised before that time; or
• that its not being raised before that time due to exceptional circumstances.
Where an appellant wishes to raise new matters or evidence which did not feature in the planning authority’s consideration of the application, they might want to consider whether they should make a fresh planning application to the authority rather than appeal to the Scottish Ministers. The appeal form asks appellants to state whether they are seeking to introduce new matters which were not before the planning authority at the earlier stage and, if so, to explain why.
The appeal process will be managed by the person appointed by Scottish Ministers to consider and decide the appeal. If, having received the appeal, the planning authority’s response and any other correspondence received from any interested parties, the appointed person (Reporter) has sufficient information to be able to make a decision on the appeal, then that is what will happen.
However, the Reporter may consider it necessary to obtain some further information, perhaps just on a single issue/matter (rather than on the appeal as a whole), before reaching a final decision.
There are several methods available to the appointed person to obtain this information:
Inspection of the site
- Further written submissions
- Hearing session
- Inquiry session
For further information about the planning appeals process, please see the Scottish Government’s Planning Circular 6/2009: Planning Appeals . This is available on the Government’s website at www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/built-environment/planning .