Please note that the appeals system is set to radically change following the introduction of the Coalition's Localism Bill on 13th December 2010
As Kate Barker recognised in her Review of Land Use Planning, the appeals system in England is widely acknowledged to deliver a high quality service. Surveys consistently show that the majority of appellants are satisfied with the way their appeal is handled, and this is further evidenced by the small number of High Court challenges that successfully overturn inspectors’ decisions.
However, the delivery of a well-functioning appeals system is being affected by the sheer volume of planning appeals being received. In England, numbers have risen sharply from around 14,000 planning appeals in 1997-98 to over 22,000 in 2005- 06 and are forecast to rise to around 25,000 planning appeals per year by 2010. The existing appeals system is not equipped to handle efficiently such large appeal numbers and the delays in decision making are symptomatic of this. Some of the existing appeal processes are disproportionately complex for the type of appeals while some administrative processes are not as efficient as they could be.
At Lancaster City Council, if a planning application has been refused, granted subject to conditions which are considered unreasonable, or has not been determined within the 8 week statutory time period, the applicant has a right of appeal to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. A similar right of appeal exists against planning enforcement notices served by the Council.
There is no right of appeal against a planning decision by third parties such as neighbours. Some might argue that this does not benefit the community as
There are three methods of appealing:-
1) Written representations
2) By a hearing
3) By an inquiry