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Have your say on planning decisions

As a third party to the planning application, you cannot insist on a public hearing or inquiry and would also not have a right to appeal against a planning decision. This applies to England and Wales, check the position if you live in Northern Ireland and Scotland. However, there are other ways in which you can make your voice heard.

Judicial Review

  • If you are unhappy about a planning decision, you make seek judicial review from a court. The process is costly and should only be explored if you have sufficient cause or interest in the matter.

Local Government Ombudsman

  • You may also in certain cases be able to make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman on the way a planning decision was handled by your local planning authority. The Ombudsman would investigate claims where there has been injustice arising out of maladministration on the part of the local planning authority. Please note that it will not investigate a local planning authority's decision just because you are unhappy with it. The Ombudsman would offer compensation if it finds that a decision was flawed or wrongly made.

Examples of complaints made to the Ombudsman

  • Where elected officials collectively decided on how they would vote before the committee meeting.
  • A local planning authority not following its own rules in the application process.
  • Failure of a local planning authority to ensure an even-handed and consistent approach when granting permission for two extensions in the same road.

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