Planning Appeals

If you have been served with a decision that refuses to grant you planning permission to develop your home then we can advise you on your rights and merits to appeal. We use our expertise to look at planning decisions and consider the right to challenge negative decisions to the High Court by way of judicial review. We can also offer legal advice or conference on points of potential challenge and help with drafting and negotiation of planning agreements.

Alternatively, perhaps you have been living in ignorance of an extension that you or your predecessor never received planning permission for. We can advise on how to approach this troublesome issue. This may well prevent the sale of your property, so ensuring that you have the correct paperwork will improve your chances of selling your property.

Without securing the planning permission, the value of your property is arguably impacted, as you could be at risk of service of an enforcement notice from the Local Council. Prudent conveyancers will often ask for evidence that planning permission has been obtained prior to recommending a purchaser proceeds with purchasing your property, so the chances of this being overlooked are slim. Contact our solicitors now.

How do I start the planning appeal process?

  • Contact us

Call our 24/7 free number to speak to a member of our team who will explain to you the process and give you initial advice.

  • Solicitor who you can trust

After we have analysed the prospects of your case, we will find a lawyer who can assist you throughout, keeping you up to date.

  • Solution

Our Solicitors will aim to find a solution to your problems.

Case Study: Resident successfully challenged Council’s decision to grant neighbour’s planning permission

A Camden resident has successfully challenged Camden Council’s decision to grant his next door neighbour planning permission through permitted development rules, to build a basement extension, following an appeal to the High Court.

Mr Michael Eatherley, who lives in Quadrant Grove, appointed Hodge Jones & Allen to challenge the Council’s decision to grant a Lawful Development Certificate for Permitted Development for the basement extension of a neighbouring property. It was challenged on the grounds that the proposed development required substantial engineering, not within the permitted development rights.

The proposed building site in Quadrant Grove is a two-storey, 19th-century mid-terrace family house with a mansard roof extension adding a third storey. A basement extension would turn, what was originally a two-storey cottage in a tiny street, into a four-storey house. In a relatively short report, Mr Raymond Yeung, a planning officer at the Council, concluded that the proposed development was a permitted development within the meaning of Class A permitted right.

In a judgment handed down at the Royal Courts of Justice, Mr Justice Cranston quashed the Council’s certificate of lawful development granted to Mr Eatherley’s neighbour (Mr Ireland). He said:

“In my judgment, the planning committee asked itself the wrong question with its focus on the works being “entirely part” of the overall development, which would “by necessity” involve engineering works. It concluded that because this was the case it followed that the works did not constitute a separate activity of substance. That is not the approach laid down in the authorities. The Council’s conclusion that the engineering works were not a separate activity of substance followed from a misdirection. It should not have asked itself whether the engineering works were part and parcel of making a basement but whether they constituted a separate activity of substance. The Council needed to address the nature of the excavation and removal of the ground and soil, and the works of structural support to create the space for the basement.

In other words, if the planning committee had asked itself the right question, it would have needed to assess the additional planning impacts of the engineering works to decide whether they amounted to a separate activity of substance.”

The permission to apply for judicial review was sought on three specific grounds:

  1. The proposed development includes a substantial engineering operation that is not within the permitted development right relied upon in the certificate.
  2. (a) The Council misdirected itself before concluding that the engineering works proposed were not a “separate activity of substance”. (b) Alternatively, if this was a question of planning judgement, the Council’s judgement was infected by public law errors and/or in any event irrational.
  3. The interpretation of the “Class A” permitted development right as including the engineering works proposed in this case frustrated the legislative purpose of s. 59 of the TCPA 1990 and/or the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 and was, therefore, ultra vires.

As well as concluding that the Council had misdirected itself (point 2), Mr Justice Cranston said that the matter of whether the proposed development (point 1) includes a substantial engineering operation was a matter for the Council.

Why choose our solicitors?

  • Experienced

Hodge Jones & Allen is also able to offer legal advice or ‘conference’ on points of potential challenge and help with drafting and negotiation of planning agreements. Our Partners in the team are accredited by the Property Litigation Association and have 10 years of litigation experience.

  • Effective Advice

Our solicitors have the right expertise to advise you on your rights and merits to appeal planning refusals. We are skilled in the area and aim to win all our cases.

  • Cost-conscious

We understand that cost is a priority to every home-owner, therefore, our solicitors will explain the funding options to you. They will aim to give you clarity of the fees from the beginning and keep you up to date throughout.

Frequently asked questions

I understand that an applicant has submitted a planning application to alter a property near to me, how can I view the documents?

Most Council websites have an online electronic planning portal which provides details of the plans and the current stage of the process. You should search on your local Council’s website in the planning section for the planning portal. If you cannot find the information online, then you should telephone the planning department of your local Council for assistance.

I am not sure if I actually need to make a planning application, is there any way I can check before submitting a full planning application.

Most Councils will allow you to make a pre-application rather than bring an actual application. It is likely that a planning officer will give their thoughts on your application during this process, prior to you actually submitting a full planning application.

How do I comment on a planning application?

Most Councils allow you to submit comments online via their planning portals, even if you have not been formally notified of the application.

Alternatively, most Councils will accept letters with comments. It is advisable to leave details of your name and contract address, so that you can be contacted.

Request a FREE callback

Fill out this form and one of the team will get back to you:


    By ticking the following box I am giving Hodge Jones and Allen consent to process my personal data for the purpose of this enquiry.

    Full details of our privacy policy is available here

    Call us on:

    Our offices are open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm.

    Phone:0808 231 6369
    Fax:020 7388 2106
    Address:Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors
    180 North Gower Street
    London
    NW1 2NB
    Trustpilot