Five top tips for dealing with a planning refusal.
Obtaining planning consent after a refusal.
The main tip in managing a planning application that's been refused is essentially to review
the case officers report now to put this into context when you get your planning decision you'll get what's called
the decision notice which is usually a letter from the council that tells you that your application to be
It will give you reasons for refusal so that is one two three or ten reasons for refusal that will give you the
basic understanding of why it's been refused and on what policy grounds it's been refused for but it won't give you
much detail in how and why that policy has been an issue or how and why the issue can be overcome.
To find out more on that you need to review the case officer's report that is a delegated report prepared by the
officer that informs that decision so you go onto your council's website go into the planning section into the
planning portal section put in the reference number onto your planning application page and download the office's
When you're reviewing the office's report you can start to make decisions on matters such as can we overcome
this with more information are the council simply going to retain their refusal irrespective of what we do and if
so have we got grounds to appeal.
The second tip is that if you are unsure as to the context of the decision even if you read the
officer's report contact the case officer again now it may seem that that isn't possible because the case officer
may not be very receptive during the application process or because the application has been determined and
everyone's moved on.
Ultimately you'd be surprised what can happen if you simply just contact the case officer either on the
telephone or through an email and just ask for greater clarification as to the reasons for refusal. I am always
surprised by how receptive Planning Officers can be in providing a little bit more information.
Often you know they're preparing to report blind a lot of the time and they may not write things in a manner
that the layman could appreciate so often they'll be prepared to give a little bit more information and a little
bit more context to you as to why your application has failed.
Ultimately though however if you can't get in touch with the case officer always seek
Planning Tip number three is to start making decisions as to whether you can add more
information to your case to strengthen any resubmission so it may be that in reviewing the officer's report
speaking to the case officer again taking professional advice that the introduction of updated or revised plans or
further technical information for example could provide the basis upon which to support a resubmitted planning
Given the time associated with an appeal decision it is often more cost effective to provide the information
within a resubmitted planning application bearing in mind that any first resubmission within 12 months of the
decision of the first application is free so it makes more time and cost efficient sense to resubmit a planning
application if you're in a position where you feel that more information or advice information will overcome an
So ultimately to get your planning permission it's making that determination it may be that you require
professional assistance to identify whether that information can be provided but if it can I think it's a case of
understanding how much more information is required how long it will take and whether that will provide the basis
Planning Tip number four relates to a possible planning appeal so you need to make a decision
at some point as to whether you have a potential case to resubmit to the planning application with further
information or whether simply the council will refuse another submission irrespective of what you submit based upon
a particular interpretation of policy that they hold or a principled position that they simply will not change.
If that's the case there needs to be a decision made on whether you feel there is a need to determine that case
elsewhere and have the an appeal decision prepared in order to understand whether that will provide a basis to
potentially overcome the issue.
So, one of the benefits of an appeal is that the planning inspectorate who determine appeals are a completely
separate department from your local planning authority they will make decisions themselves based on their own
interpretation of your planning policy and that may provide a different set of parameters to that presented by your
local planning authority.
You may prove the basis upon which you can get an application through and permitted so I think it's a case of
understanding whether the strengths of your case are worth appealing and if they are then clearly it would make
more sense and more time efficient sense to submit the application to appeal to the planning inspector rather than
go through the process again with your local planning authority in the knowledge they will likely be refused
Planning Tip number five is a pretty common sense one and that is on reflection having had the
decision and having had the offices report, having had the professional or case officer feedback and looking at the
appeal implications, do you have a suitable case to be able to take forward?
Is there time for a resubmission or an appeal. Is the cost of any further works needed for a resubmission worth
it in order to get that planning permission through so there'll need to be a judgment call made at some point as to
whether the time and cost implications are worth it in order to support that planning application.
It may be in some circumstances that simply your case isn't strong enough no matter what you do in order to get
that planning permission through and given the relative costs associated with any sort of resubmission, the time
that's involved especially in appeal cases which can take you up to 23 weeks, whether it is actually worth it.
Or is it worth revising your plans i.e going back to the drawing board looking what else you can do or making
alternative arrangements to your original aspirations. I think one of the things to do at some stage during the
receipt of the refusal is to have a real objective view as to whether you have a realistic chance of overturning
the issue either with more information or through the appeal system and whether the cost and time implications are