The decision-making process

What to do if your application is refused or delayed

If the authority refuses permission or imposes conditions, it must give written reasons.

If you are unhappy or unclear about the reasons for refusal or the conditions imposed, talk to a member of staff at the local authority planning department.

Ask them if changing your plans might make a difference. If your application has been refused, you may be able to submit another application with modified plans free of charge within 12 months of the decision on your first application. Discuss this with your local authority.

Alternatively, if you think the authority's decision is unreasonable, you may wish to consider appealing to the Secretary of State.

You can also appeal if the local authority does not issue a decision within eight weeks (known as non-determination). Unless you have agreed in writing to an extension of that period. If you appeal, your application will be out of the authority's hands.

Appeals are intended as a last resort and they take several months to decide. It may be quicker to discuss with the authority whether changes to your proposal would make it more acceptable or, in cases of non-determination, when your application might be decided if you choose not to appeal.

The deadline for submitting an appeal is six months from the date of the application decision letter or in the case of non-determination, six months from the date the decision should have been made.

There is a different process for householder appeals. Find out more about householder appeals.

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