How to take at the council’s making plans crimson tape – and win

Planners get it flawed extra regularly than you could be expecting. The making plans inspectorate discovered that 36pc of owners’ appeals have been a hit in 2021‑22. The likelihood is that even upper in some spaces: 35 councils in England misplaced greater than part of the appeals they contested and 10 misplaced no less than two thirds. Homeowners in those spaces are extremely more likely to get their proposals via at enchantment.

Despite this one-in-three probability of luck, simplest 5,500 appeals have been submitted in England and Wales in 2021‑22, representing only a 5th of refused making plans programs. When they obtain a refusal, most householders revise or abandon their plans, unaware in their proper of enchantment, daunted through the method or satisfied that difficult the native planners has little probability of luck.

If all of them appealed, and assuming the common luck price, 8,000 extra extensions would were licensed final yr.

Why do the planners get it flawed virtually as regularly as they get it proper? Planning choices are subjective – one particular person’s exemplary recent design is someone else’s eyesore. On best of this, the planners are harried and overworked, normally don’t perform web site visits (a hangover from the pandemic) and can also be overzealous once they practice their making plans insurance policies. Too many have a inflexible, tick-box mentality; in case your proposal is odd or bold, they’re much more likely to err at the aspect of warning.

Not even probably the most prominent initiatives are secure from deficient determination making. In December the Royal Institute of British Architects selected as its “house of the year” a longer farmhouse that had first been refused permission through the planners and was once granted permission simplest after an enchantment. 

The architect had designed a hanging recent addition to House at the Hill, a good-looking Georgian development with perspectives over the Wye Valley. But the planners discovered it too bold, arguing that it was once too massive and didn’t admire its atmosphere. The enchantment inspector discovered towards the council, embracing the trendy design.

Win or lose, the correct of enchantment is an crucial test on councils’ making plans powers and the one means for the common-or-garden house owner to carry the planners, who’ve sudden energy over what you’ll be able to do with your individual land, to account. You shouldn’t rush to enchantment – get your software proper first and paintings with the planners the place imaginable. But in case you have put your best possible foot ahead and feature nonetheless been knocked again, don’t get indignant, enchantment.


Martin Gaine is a chartered the city planner and writer to ‘How to Get Planning Permission: An Insider’s Secrets’ (Spinlove Books, £13.99)

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