Vitality Planning and Design can help you with your appeal, from the gathering of evidence, development of a robust and referenced appeal statement and submission, to putting forward logically, policy and guidance based responses to the Council's defence of their appeal, to fully explaining the implications of the inspector's decision. We can help you with an appeal, whether it be through written representations (the submission of documents arguing the case) or through an informal hearing (a long meeting where the different parties argue their case in person, in addition to the submission of documents).
We can help you with appeals for the following types of planning applications: outline planning permissions and reserved matters. Full planning permissions, lawful development certificates (also known as certificates of lawfulness), applications for prior approval, advertisement consents, removal and/or variation of planning conditions, discharge of planning conditions and applications for non-material amendments to an extent planning permission. For more information on these types of applications, please click HERE.
Before committing to a planning appeal, we would advise that you consider all of your options. As part of our service to you, we will use our expertise and experience to advise you on whether an appeal is worth considering or not. We have produced a useful guide for people who have been refused consent, where we discuss the different issues to consider with the different options available. Our guide is available by clicking HERE.
Our planning appeals management service consists of three main stages:
A - Preparation and submission of information to the Planning Inspectorate B – Responding to the Local Planning Authority's statement of case during the appeal process C – Post-appeal decision advice
Below is a discussion of what is involved in each stage.
Preparation and submission of information to the Planning Inspectorate
This stage consists of conducting the required research, recruitment and employment of specialists to support the statement of case (when required), production of the appeal statement and relevant supporting reports/evidence and submitting the documents, along with an application form and fee.
The first step here is conducting the required research, which primarily is focussed on the reasons for refusal. Once we have established the issues with the proposal, we will discuss with you these issues and recommend arguments that counter these issues. With your agreement, we will develop appropriate arguments for the appeal statement based on our research.
In the vast majority of cases, all of the work required to develop the appeal statement and relevant supporting reports/evidence is done in-house. Where this is the case, we can agreed on guaranteed time-scales, which helps ensure we deliver this service to you within a prompt and punctual time-frame. Where external technical specialists are required, we will help you source people with the technical expertise needed, will liaise and directly work with them on your behalf, and will assist in encouraging them to deliver the research and appeal materials punctually. Once the appeal materials are agreed and produced, we will submit the materials to the Planning Inspectorate, including the appeal application form.
It is also possible to appeal for costs against the LPA, usually on the grounds that the LPA has behaved unreasonably, and the appellant has therefore incurred unnecessary or wasted expenses by needing to appeal. We will advise you regarding this part of the appeal, and recommend a course of action, and can put together arguments to justify an application for costs when appropriate.
Responding to the Local Planning Authority's statement of case during the appeal process
If the appeal procedure is via written representations (which is the more common procedure) then we will have an opportunity to present a subequent response to the LPA's statement of case (except with householder appeals). We will endeavour to submit a response to the LPA's statement of case, but it is subject to following the procedural deadline set out by the appeal inspector, the LPA submitting a case within the appropriate time-frame and to you agreeing to the response and its content. If the appeal also involves a costs application, then we will seek to put forward a response, where possible, subject to the same requirements as above.
If the appeal procedure is an informal hearing, we will attend and represent you and argue your case. As the hearing is time-limited by the Planning Inspectorate, we will develop and implement a strategy for presenting the case as effectively as possible, including seeking to ask the key questions, listen carefully to all the points that the LPA raises, and respond effectively to their arguments. If you choose to attend, you are welcome to contribute, and it is your hearing so this is of course your choice, but we do recommend that you let us cover the most pressing planning issues, so as to put forward the strongest possible statement of case.
Post-appeal decision advice
The final stage of this service where we give you detailed feedback on the Inspector's decision. If the appeal is allowed and permission is granted, it is also common for the inspector to attach several conditions to your consent. We will explain to you in detail what these conditions mean, what action (if any) is required and other implications from them. We will also notify you of any planning obligations that the consent is subject to. Finally, we will recommend a series of next steps, when necessary.
If the appeal is dismissed and permission is refused, we will advise you of different courses of action available and what they involve. We will draw up recommendations on the most appropriate way of achieving your development aims through a recommended course of action, and will happily assist you in pursuing your preferred course of action.
We will also advise you of the results of the costs decision (where applicable) and the implications of it.