If a planning application is refused the applicant has a right to appeal the decision. 

An appeal should be a last resort. Cornwall Council defends an average of 75% of the appeals received. Applicants should contact us in the first instance.

We can try to overcome the grounds for refusal and submit a new application. 

You can search for and review current appeals and their status. 

View current appeals

Submitting an appeal

The Planning Inspectorate decide almost all appeals.  They also provide information to help you submit your appeal online through their website.

Submit your appeal online

When you can appeal

You can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate if your application was:

  • refused permission
  • granted permission but with conditions you think are inappropriate
  • if the Council failed to approve outline details allowed on Appeal
  • if the Council rejected a proposal arising from a condition on a planning permission
  • if the Council don't decide your application within the time allowed
  • if the Council have told you more information is needed but you do not want to supply it.

It is also possible to appeal against the Council taking enforcement action.

View information on enforcement appealsThe appeal process

You can submit an appeal within six months (12 weeks for householder applications) of a decision.  There are three different ways to deal with it: 

  • Written representation - this is the most usual way that appeals are dealt with. Each side submits its case in writing and an inspector visits the site. This is the speediest way of getting a decision.
  • Informal hearing - this allows cases to be heard verbally, as well as by written submission, during a round table discussion involving:
    • the planning inspector
    • the appellant
    • a planning officer and
    • sometimes third parties.
  • Public inquiry - this is a formal process with each side presenting evidence to a planning inspector:
    • often participants are represented by legal professionals
    • witnesses will be cross-examined on their evidence
    • third parties may participate.

The decision

The planning inspector either:

  • allows the appeal (overturns the Council's decision) or
  • dismisses the appeal (confirms the Council's decision).

At present third parties (eg neighbours or community groups) have no rights of appeal against planning decisions.

Complaining about applications

If you are unhappy about how the Council has handled:

  • a planning application or
  • enforcement investigation

you can use our online complaint form.  Our feedback team will aim to respond to you within 10 working days.

Make a complaint

If your complaint is about your planning application decision, then you have the right to appeal.  This is set out in your decision notice.

If you have complained and are unhappy with the response, you may refer the matter to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO). Please note:

  • The LGSCO cannot investigate a complaint just because you do not agree with the decision
  • They have no power to alter the decision.

Need help?

Most issues can be resolved online, it's the quickest and most convenient way to get help.

Use our contact us form

Your feedback is important to us

Help us improve our service