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If a planning application is refused the applicant has a right to appeal the decision through the Planning Inspectorate. An appeal should be a last resort and they can take several months to decide. We recommend you contact us before making your appeal. We can try to overcome the grounds for refusal by making minor changes to your proposal.

Cornwall Council defends an average of 75% of the appeals received.

Who can appeal?

Only the person who:

  • applied for planning permission or
  • was served with an enforcement notice

has a legal right to appeal.  There is no right of appeal for interested people or organisations (known as third parties). This means that objectors or anyone else who has an interest in the proposal can't appeal if they're unhappy about the decision.

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 appeals

How long do I have to appeal

There are strict time limits on the right to appeal. The time limit for making your appeal depends on the type of appeal you are making.

Householder applications

You must appeal within 12 weeks of the date on the decision notice.  The deadline is earlier if you received an enforcement notice. You must appeal within 28 days of the notice.

Appeals against planning applications (non-householder)

If your application is refused permission, you can appeal within 6 months of the date of the refusal. The deadline is earlier if you received an enforcement notice. You must appeal within 28 days of the notice.

If you think one or more of the conditions on your planning approval is unreasonable or unacceptable, you can:

  • appeal within 6 months of the approval date or 
  • submit a new application to have them altered or removed.

Appeals against Certificate of lawful use or development

There is no time limit for these types of appeals to be submitted.  But the Planning Inspectorate would expect to receive any appeal within 6 months.

Listed building LDC appeals must be submitted within 6 months of the date of decision notice or when the application should have been decided.

Enforcement notice

Your appeal must be received before the date the enforcement notice take effect.

If you received the enforcement notice before your application was refused, you have 28 days from the date on your decision letter to appeal.

If the enforcement notice came after your application was refused, you need to appeal by whichever of these dates is sooner:

  • 28 days from the date you received the enforcement notice
  • 6 months from the date on your application decision letter


There is no right of appeal against the Council's decision not to make a Tree Preservation Order.

Any appeal needs to relate to applied works on a tree with a valid Tree Preservation Order.

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

If you submit a planning appeal, please remember to send a copy of the completed appeal form and any appeal statement/supporting documents to the Council at

For larger files/documents you can use Egress Forms.  We do nor accept 'We Transfer'

The appeal process

Planning Inspectors consider appeals in one of three ways: 

  • 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.

Planning Inspectorate guidance booklets

Guides to taking part in planning appeals proceedings by: written representations, hearing or inquiry

Guides to taking part in enforcement appeals proceedings by: written representations, hearing or inquiry

You can find more information at: Planning appeals: procedural guide GOV.UK

Planning Inspectorate's new Appeal service

There is a new Planning Inspectorate service to simplify the process of making an appeal. It introduces improvements which include:

  • a simpler and more user-friendly appeal submission process
  • the ability to save your appeal and resume later, and upload documents incrementally
  • a task list outlining the necessary information needed for your appeal.

You can find more information including a help video at: Appeal a planning decision.

Commenting on a planning appeal

Once an appeal has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate there may be a delay until they issue a 'Start Date'.  At that point the appeal process starts. We will advise anyone who made representations on the planning application that an appeal has been made and provide information on how to comment further.

We forward all comments received on the planning application to the Planning Inspectorate. You need to send any further comments direct to the Planning Inspectorate.  Please note that for Householder appeals there is no opportunity to make comments extra to those submitted at the time of the application. You will need the Planning Inspectorate reference number to submit your comments. You can find this on their website using the address or application reference number.

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

View current appeals

How long does it take?

The time from submitting an appeal to getting a decision may take months.  You can find guidance at: Planning Appeals - how long it takes GOV.UK

The Planning Inspectorate currently has a significant backlog of Enforcement and certificate of lawfulness cases awaiting a site visit.  They are unable to respond to any queries on delays.

The decision

The planning inspector either:

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

The Planning Inspectorate publishes the appeal decision. You can also view it on our website by searching our Online Planning Register.

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

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