Planning Appeals

What is a Planning Appeal?

Planning legislation provides that all planning decisions made by planning authorities may be subject to independent review by An Bord Pleanála. This means that when a planning authority (county, city or town council) makes a decision on a planning application, this may be appealed to An Bord Pleanála. In these cases, the planning authority decision is set aside and An Bord Pleanála makes the final decision on the planning application.

Who Can Make a Planning Appeal?

In general terms, any applicant for planning permission may appeal the planning authority’s decision, usually appealing a grant of the imposition of particular conditions. This is called a First Party Appeal. Third Party rights of appeal also extend to anyone who made a valid submission to the planning authority during the planning application process, usually appealing a grant of permission. Statutory bodies may also appeal any planning authority decision and there are certain limited additional rights for adjacent land interests.

What Does a Planning Appeal Comprise?

An appeal must be made to An Bord Pleanála in writing within the statutory timeframe (within 4 weeks of initial decision). The appeal must clearly state the full grounds of appeal, including the reasons and considerations on which they are based. In other words, the appeal should clearly set out the reasons why the planning authority’s decision should be over-turned or why a particular condition should be revised or omitted. An appeal may be supported within additional documentation and other material, such as specialist reports and photographs.

What is the Benefit of Using a Planning Consultant to Prepare a Planning Appeal?

In order to effectively and successfully challenge a planning authority decision, an appeal must make a demonstrable and decisive argument, supported by relevant planning policies, objectives, guidelines and other considerations, such as precedents and apparent inconsistencies. This will require an in depth knowledge of planning policy documents at all levels and of relevant planning decisions in the area or, indeed, nationally. Experienced planners have a good working knowledge of all the relevant policies and objectives and are well placed to interpret relevant planning decisions.

How long will it take to prepare a Planning Appeal?

The period for making an appeal is set out in statute and is strictly limited to the 4-week period beginning the date of the planning authority’s decision. An Bord Pleanála will not entertain late or incomplete appeals and therefore there is a tight timescale to prepare and submit an appeal. McCarthy Keville O’Sullivan has very significant experience in submitting appeals and will meet the statutory deadline provided that the instruction to appeal is made in a timely manner.

How much will a Planning Appeal Cost?

Each appeal is different, depending on a number of matters, including the number and nature of any the reasons for refusal; the conditions of grant; and the nature and scale of the proposed development. The fee may also be dependent on the nature of McCarthy Keville O’Sullivan’s involvement in the planning application process to date. McCarthy Keville O’Sullivan can prepare a competitive fee proposal for any appeal very quickly. Please also note that there are separate fees due to An Bord Pleanála to lodge any appeal and these can be very significant, depending on the nature of the appeal and the development.

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