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Appealing a planning decision

Most planning and environmental appeals are decided by the Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA).

They decide appeals on certain decisions made by the following authorities:

  • your local council’s planning department
  • a national park authority
  • Historic Environment Scotland
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
  • Scottish Water
  • Scottish Forestry

The DPEA is a Scottish Government department. It’s independent from the authority who made the original decision.

Appealing when you apply for permission

Usually you can appeal when an authority:

  • refuses your application
  • gives permission but adds conditions that you do not agree with
  • does not make a decision before the deadline

The authority has:

  • 2 months to decide, if it’s a local planning decision
  • 4 months to decide, if it’s a major or national application

Check with the authority if you’re not sure who to appeal to or what the deadline is.

Planning decisions you can appeal

You can appeal when you applied for:

  • planning permission
  • listed building and conservation area planning consent
  • scheduled monument consent
  • hazardous substances consent
  • advertisement consent
  • tree works consent
  • prior approval

You must appeal within 3 months of the decision date, or the date the authority should have decided your application by.

If you oppose someone else getting planning permission

You cannot appeal against planning permission granted to someone else.

To oppose it, you can comment or object when they first apply to the authority.

Appealing a planning enforcement notice

An authority may send you an enforcement notice if you’ve built or changed something without the necessary permission.

You can appeal an enforcement notice when you disagree with it or believe it does not apply to you.

Once you appeal, the notice is normally suspended. This means you do not need to do anything until the DPEA makes a decision, even if the enforcement date has passed.

Enforcement notices you can appeal

You can appeal against:

  • a planning enforcement notice
  • a listed building or conservation area notice
  • an amenity notice
  • a high hedge notice
  • a tree replacement notice
  • a scheduled monument enforcement notice
  • an advertisement enforcement notice
  • an advertisement discontinuance notice
  • a review of minerals permissions order
  • a hazardous substances contravention notice

In most cases, you must appeal before the date the enforcement takes effect. The date will be written in the enforcement notice. If you’re not sure, contact your local planning authority.

The exception to this is appealing a high hedge notice. You must appeal within 28 days of the date on the notice.

Other appeals that the DPEA decides

You can appeal decisions about:

  • certificate of lawfulness use or development
  • planning obligations
  • good neighbour agreements
  • building designation
  • monument designation
  • certificate of appropriate alternative development
  • environmental decisions by Scottish Water or SEPA

In most cases, you must appeal within 3 months of the decision date, or the date the authority should have decided by.

The only exceptions are:

  • certificate of appropriate alternative development appeals – you must appeal within 1 month of the date on the certificate, or the date that the authority should have issued a certificate
  • environmental appeals – the deadline will vary. Contact Scottish Water or SEPA to check how long you have to appeal
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