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When and how you can appeal a decision about a lawful development certificate.

First published:
9 January 2019
Last updated:

When you can appeal

Your local planning authority makes decisions about lawful development certificates.

You can appeal against a lawful development certificate decision if either:

  • you disagree with it
  • the decision was not made within 8 weeks

Do not appeal if you’ve already been given an enforcement notice. You may have to pay additional costs if you do.

Only the person who made the lawful development certificate application can appeal. If you did not apply, you can comment on an appeal instead.

There’s no fee for appealing.

Deadline for appealing

If you disagree with a decision, you must appeal within 6 months of the date on the decision notice from your local planning authority.

If they did not make a decision within 8 weeks, there is no deadline for appealing.

You can apply for planning permission at the same time as appealing a lawful development certificate decision.

When you can expect a decision

Once your appeal has started, you’ll normally get a decision within 27 weeks.

How to appeal

Make your appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

If you want to appeal more than one decision you must make a separate appeal for each.

You also need to send a copy of your appeal form, including all supporting documents, to your local planning authority. The Planning Inspectorate will tell you how to do this.

Documents you must provide

You’ll need to submit copies of:

  • full statement of case
  • your original application
  • the local planning authority’s decision notice (if they did not make a decision, send a copy of the letter acknowledging your application)
  • all plans, drawings and documents you sent to the local planning authority
  • any letters or emails between you and the local planning authority
  • any plans, drawings or documents relating to the application which weren’t sent to the local planning authority
  • your appeal form (if you’re appealing by post or e-mail)

If you think your land or building is now lawful because the time limit for enforcement has passed, you should submit evidence like:

  • dated photographs of the site
  • letters from neighbours
  • receipts or invoices for work
  • plans and drawings

You can upload these documents when you appeal online. Or send them by post or email to the Planning Inspectorate.

The Planning Inspectorate
Crown Buildings
Cathays Park
CF10 3NQ

Comment on an appeal

Anyone can comment on a lawful development certificate appeal. Find the case on the appeals casework portal. The deadline for comments is 4 weeks after the start date of the appeal.

Your local planning authority must tell anyone who has commented on the application (‘interested persons’) that there’s an appeal. The local planning authority has to do this within 1 week of the appeal being started by the Planning Inspectorate.

Read the detailed guidance about taking part in an appeal

After you appeal

The Planning Inspectorate will check your appeal to make sure it’s valid. They’ll tell you what happens next and how long your appeal may take.

The Planning Inspectorate will then consider your appeal. You’ll normally get a decision within 27 weeks of the Planning Inspectorate starting your appeal.

If anyone behaves unreasonably

You can apply for an award of costs if anyone involved in your appeal has cost you money by behaving unreasonably, for example missing deadlines. You can have costs awarded against you too.

You can complain about how the Planning Inspectorate handled your appeal. There’s no time limit for complaints.

If you disagree with the appeal decision

You can challenge the decision in the High Court if you think the Planning Inspectorate made a legal mistake.

Get advice from a lawyer if you’re unsure about this.