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Navigating the intricacies of planning applications and appeals requires specialist expertise. Our planning solicitors handle complex planning matters including residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural schemes, ranging from small/individual developments to schemes of national importance, such as wind farms and solar schemes.

We work closely with developers, property professionals, local authorities and national organisations, helping them protect their interests and progress their projects.

Contact us today to discuss your planning application or appeal with our solicitors 

How can we help with a planning application?

We can assist with a variety of proposals, including applications for planning permission, listed building consent, permission in principle, consent under the Commons Act 2006, and applications relating to Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (‘NSIPs’) and Developments of National Significance (‘DNSs’).

Often, we work alongside Architects and Planning Consultants to provide advice on legal issues or general strategy, particularly where permission will be difficult to obtain. We often prepare and deliver speeches to Planning Committees.

Certificates of lawfulness and lawfulness applications

Our solicitors can also deal with applications for Certificates of Lawfulness, including in circumstances where a development has been built without, or not in accordance with, planning permission, or where a condition attached to a permission has been breached. 

Our team also handle lawfulness applications, which seek confirmation that permission has been lawfully implemented (often when a pre-commencement condition has not been discharged before commencement), and which relate to proposed development (e.g. confirmation that a proposed use would not require permission or a proposal complies with the permitted development rules).

Community Infrastructure Levy

We can also provide advice on the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), which may be payable in connection with a proposal.

Objections to applications and appeals

We also assist those who want to object to applications and appeals, and those who wish to challenge planning permissions which have been granted.

architect plans for planning applications

What are my options if my application has been refused?

A planning appeal can be made if an application is refused. This appeal must be made to the Planning Inspectorate (in England) or Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (‘PEDW’) (in Wales).

Sometimes, it is more sensible to resubmit an application, rather than appeal, and we are often instructed to advise on the available options if permission has been refused, or if a local planning authority has failed to determine the application within the relevant target determination period.

How is an appeal determined?

In most cases, a planning inspector will be appointed to determine the appeal and decide whether it should be determined by way of written representations, a hearing (similar to a roundtable discussion led by the inspector) or a public inquiry (a more formal court-like process where witnesses are cross-examined by Barristers). 

We can advise as to which procedure would give the greatest chance of success, and as to whether third-party evidence should be obtained (e.g. on highways, heritage or ecology). We are adept at coordinating a team of experts. 

What happens if you lose a planning appeal?

If an appeal is dismissed, the decision can be challenged in the High Court on the basis that it was taken unlawfully e.g. because the inspector failed to take into account a relevant consideration, or acted irrationally. More information on High Court challenges can be found by clicking here.

Our expertise in action:

  • Acted on several schemes, both at the application and appeal stage, for significant energy projects, including wind farms;
  • Advising a national supermarket chain in respect of several applications for new stores, often to ensure that the permissions, once granted, will withstand legal challenge by rivals;
  • Advising on schemes relating to the accommodation of asylum seekers, gypsies and travellers, and those which engage the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, and the provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998.

Speak to a planning appeals solicitor

Our team of planning solicitors are highly experienced in providing legal support for individuals, businesses and organisations seeking practical advice on planning appeals and applications. 

If you would like to discuss your matter further with a member of our team, please complete our enquiry form below and one of our solicitors will be in touch.

Key Contacts

David Harries

David Harries

Partner | Head of Planning, Environmental, Energy and Regulatory

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Mark Turner

Mark Turner

Planning, Environmental, Energy and Regulatory Partner

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