Planning Permission UK – Tactics if Appealing to the DOE for a Planning Refusal

Tactics of Appealing to the DOE – There will be times in any Design Agents career when a clients scheme will be refused Planning Permission. Fortunately, our experience is now at a point when we can normally forecast these schemes & steer the client away from that design solution. Clients that wish to pursue these contentious schemes are at least forewarned of the likely outcome so that we can formulate a ‘plan of attack’ for the next phase of the extension or development. Many clients seem to want to drive head first to the Appeal route directly after refusal – IN MOST CASES THIS IS NOT A WISE DECISION & IT CAN AFFECT THE FUTURE DEVELOPMENT VIABILITY OF YOUR SITE.

Now many of us ‘Agents’ have varying views on this mainly because many Agents specialise in appeal work & it amounts for a large proportion of their fees – these agents would have you appeal ing at the drop of a hat. I can only speak from my own experiences & DOE appeal results. It should always be remembered that the national average on appeal success is still only around 30%. In other words the odds of winning are always against you to begin with.

Without doubt, most extension & development schemes can be adjusted or redesigned in some way to overcome the reasons for refusal. Many clients are blinded by this fact & see their current proposal (now refused) as an ‘all or nothing’ type of scheme. Most Design Agents will be able to come up with an an amended scheme that will get around the main refusal reason(s) & this is were they often score over the DIY householder submitting their own schemes. Yes you will have to accept that the fourth new bedroom has a bit less space or the second ensuite has to be omitted or the lowered roof line looks a little odd etc..etc….BUT, HALF A LOAF IS BETTER THAN NO LOAF as the saying goes. Now, this new approval for an amended scheme has several tactical advantages – let me explain.

Firstly, The site benefits from an approval. From a marketing point of view you have not left a big question mark over extending the property or developing the site. Remember, future purchasers of your property may also want to extend or develop in that identified area so why leave it in a negative state that often means not getting proper market value.

Secondly, once a client has obtained an approval, its amazing how quick they realise how close they came to ‘cutting off their nose to spite their face’ & the scheme isn’t that bad after all – so it gets built – everyone’s happy.

Thirdly, if the client really finds that the amended scheme is not for them then at least it sets a positive framework for the DOE appeal. This is because most elements of the original refused scheme are now likely to have been approved in the new revised scheme. This now focuses the reasons for reasons for refusal upon the ‘extra’ element that the original scheme had. Its like having the Appeal Inspector only having to approve the remaining 10% & his question that he has to resolve is does this extra 10% justify withholding Planning Permission? It is my opinion that the refused scheme has a better chance of being overturned at appeal when there is already an approval in place for a similar scheme.

Going to appeal without some sort of current approval in place via a negotiated scheme with the Planners could have a detrimental effect on your chances at appeal.