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Cambridge City Council

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Appeal against a planning decision

If you're unhappy with the outcome of your application, you have the right to appeal.

Planning appeals are dealt with by the Planning Inspectorate, which is a government agency who take an unbiased approach to the case and make their own informed decision. Advice on making and submitting an appeal available on the Gov UK website.

What you can appeal against

You can appeal if you applied to this authority and we:

  • refused permission
  • gave permission but with conditions you think are inappropriate
  • rejected a proposal arising from a condition or limitation on permission
  • didn't decide your application within the time allowed
  • told you that more information was needed before we could decide your outline application, but you don't want so supply this.

How long you have to make an appeal

Appeals relating to planning applications must be made within six months from the date of the decision. The time period is shorter for householder and minor commercial appeals (12 weeks) and advertisement appeals (8 weeks).

How to appeal

  • Appeals can be made online using the Gov UK website. It's fast, free and can minimise the possibility of delays once the appeal is submitted.

Monitoring an appeal

  • You can monitor the process of an appeal through our planning application register. If you have the appeal reference number it will help you find details more quickly, otherwise you can use the search facility in the system.
  • The Planning Inspectorate will publish copies of appeal decisions on the Appeals Casework Service from Gov.UK.
  • If you'd like a printed copy of the appeal decision email

Dealing with your appeal

Your appeal will be dealt with through written representations, an informal hearing or a local public inquiry.

An inspector will be appointed to deal with your appeal.

Most appeals are dealt with by written representations through an exchange of written statements, which involves:

  • explaining why you feel your appeal should be allowed and why you disagree with the council's decision
  • replying to the council's written statement if necessary
  • attending a site visit with the inspector if necessary.

Please note that your appeal is not confidential - anyone can look at what you have to say.

If you choose to have a public inquiry or an informal hearing, the appeal will take longer to determine.

  • There is no fee for an appeal
  • You can handle the appeal yourself or get outside professional help (where a fee will apply)
  • The process for dealing with appeal submissions is the same whether the appeal is made online or on paper. The online forms allow you to say which of the required attachments are included with the online submission, and which ones will follow by post.

Comment on an appeal

The Planning Inspectorate may publish appeal documentation – including copies of representations received – on the Planning Portal website.

All information provided in your representation, including your name and address, will be published. If you object to this you must contact the Planning Inspectorate.


Comment on an appeal online through the Appeals Casework Service.

Through their system you can search for appeals and submit comments directly to the inspectorate case officer.

By post

Post comments about an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. Make sure your documents and envelope are clearly marked with the appeal reference number or the name of the appellant or the appeal site address.

If you supply information belonging to a third party, make sure you have their permission to do so.

Planning Inspectorate
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Temple Quay
Bristol BS1 6PN

Open: 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday

Telephone: 0303 444 5000

Issues considered

  • Only comments relevant to planning can be taken into consideration - our reasons for refusal will set out the issues that apply.
  • The inspector can't consider comments about new buildings affecting the view from your property, or how a development might affect property values.
  • If comments contain anything libellous or racist they'll be returned; they can be re-submitted with the offending part(s) removed.

Time limits

  • Comments should be sent to the Planning Inspectorate within six weeks of the starting date of the appeal.
  • Comments received outside of the time limits will not be accepted. They will be returned to the sender and not taken into account.

Making a comment - general

  • If an appeal is to be decided by written representation, you can submit any comments you might have.
  • If an appeal is going to have a hearing or inquiry, you can submit your comments and also attend the hearing or inquiry.
  • We will forward on any letters of support or objection that we have received about the initial planning application to the Planning Inspectorate.
  • If you've already written in about an application and would like to add to your comments, or if you haven't written in with your support or objections yet, you can do so by writing directly to the Planning Inspectorate. These will be copied and sent to the city council, the appellant and the inspector.
  • If you'd like a copy of the appeal decision, please request one in your letter.

Making a comment - on appeals processed under the Householder Appeals Service

(an appeal must be made within 12 weeks of the date of the decision notice against a refusal of any householder planning application that was valid on or after 6 April 2009).

We will, however, forward copies of all representations made before the application was refused to the Planning Inspectorate and the appellant.

  • The inspector appointed by the secretary of state will consider these representations when determining the appeal.
  • You have a right to withdraw any representations you made so that they aren't taken into consideration by the inspector.
  • You can make this request to the Planning Inspectorate within four weeks of the appeal's starting date (contact details are given above).

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