Responses to Grounds of Appeal

What is a Response to Grounds of Appeal?

Planning legislation provides that all planning decisions made by planning authorities may be subject to independent review by An Bord Pleanála (see ‘Planning Appeals’). When an appeal is lodged with An Bord Pleanála, other specified interested parties are entitled to make a response that the Board must take into account. In general terms, the Response to Grounds of Appeal is an opportunity to make an argument against the terms of the appeal.

Who Can Make a Response to Grounds of Appeal?

In the case of a Third Party appeal, normally by objectors against a grant of permission, the applicant may respond. In the case of a First party appeal, normally against a refusal of permission or certain conditions, those who made a submission may respond and other persons may also make observations. All responses may be made through the offices of an agent, such as a planning consultant.

What Does a Response to Grounds of Appeal Comprise?

A Response to Grounds of Appeal must be made to An Bord Pleanála in writing within a given timeframe, usually 4 weeks of notification. It is normal for the Response to Grounds of Appeal to set out an initial argument and then address each of the grounds of appeal in turn. It is the objective of the Response to Grounds of Appeal to refute each of the grounds of appeal and demonstrate why the planning authority’s decision should stand. A Response to Grounds of 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 Response to Grounds of Appeal?

In order to effectively and successfully challenge an appeal, the response to grounds of 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 Response to Grounds of Appeal?

The period for making a Response to Grounds of Appeal is set out in statute and is limited to the 4-week period beginning the date of An Bord Pleanála notification of the appeal. An Bord Pleanála will not entertain late Responses and therefore there is a tight timescale to prepare and submit a Response to Grounds of Appeal. McCarthy Keville O’Sullivan has very significant experience in submitting appeal responses and will meet the statutory deadline provided that the instruction to appeal is made in a timely manner.

How much will a Response to Grounds of Appeal Cost?

Each Response to Grounds of Appeal is different, depending on a number of matters, including the nature and complexity of the appeal. 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 Response to Grounds of Appeal very quickly.

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