Applicants can make appeals against a decision of the council under the following circumstances:

Appeals are made to the Planning Inspectorate, an agency working on behalf of Communities and Local Government (CLG), which will make a decision on the application. This external body assesses the original application or enforcement proceedings.

The process operates in three ways:

  • written representations – this is the most common procedure, in which the inspector decides the appeal from written correspondence between the people involved and a site visit
  • informal hearing – this procedure also involves written correspondence between the people involved in much the same way as written representations but the inspector will hold a meeting with everyone involved to discuss the application before making the decision
  • public inquiry – this is the most formal of procedures and is usually reserved for large or sensitive applications and again, written evidence is used but the inquiry hearing itself is the key event, with both sides represented legally and members of the public invited to attend.

You can make an appeal online using the Planning Portal.

The progress of appeals can be monitored on the Planning Casework Service.

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government can alter any part of the council’s decision, by granting, refusing or adding and removing conditions. It is important to know that the decisions of the Planning Inspectorate and the Secretary of State are final, overriding the council’s original decision. Only points of law can be challenged in the high court.

Application forms are not available from the council and must be requested from:

The Planning Inspectorate
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Temple Quay
Bristol BS1 6PN

Phone: 0303 444 5000


The Customer Support Line telephones are answered between 08:30 - 16:30 Monday to Friday.