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How to challenge a planning decision

Currently there are no third party rights of appeal through the planning system against a decision of a local planning authority but you can challenge a decision outside the planning system via a legal challenge.

If you have concerns about a planning application and permission is granted, you cannot appeal that decision.

A legal challenge can be made via a statutory challenge under s.288 of the Town and Country Planning Act or via the process of Judicial Review; for this page, we will refer to both types of challenge as a Judicial Review.

A 'claim for judicial review' is dealt with by the Administrative Court and includes a claim to review the lawfulness of a decision, action or failure to act in relation to the exercise of a public function, in this case, a planning decision. If permission is granted to proceed, the Judicial Review will be decided by a judge at the High Court.

  • An application for Judicial Review of a decision must be made within six weeks of the decision about which you have a grievance being made
  • Leave to proceed with a Judicial Review will not be granted by the Court unless there is evidence that a legal mistake has been made
  • Examples include: a legal mistake, the local authority failed to take into account opinions stated (this does not mean we have to agree with them), the procedure in dealing with the application was flawed, or a councillor failed to declare an interest

A Judicial Review will not succeed if it is based solely on a difference of opinion and you will need to show that you have a clear interest in the decision that has been made.