How to appeal if your planning application is refused
If your planning application is turned down, you may be able to appeal the planning decision. The Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) is responsible for all appeals about planning decisions. You need to make a written appeal and pay a fee to PAC.
The Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) handles planning appeals in Northern Ireland. They're independent of government departments and agencies.
Who may appeal
Appeals may only be made by, or on behalf of, the person who made the application. There is no third party right of appeal.
Objectors or other parties with an interest in the proposal can take part when the appeal process starts.
When you can make an appeal
Time limits within which you can make an appeal are set out in legislation and depend on the type of appeal you are making.
The deadline for submitting an appeal for planning and listed building appeals, is four months from notification of the decision by the council or DfI.
PAC has no power to extend this period.
Appeals may also be made after a minimum period of two months from the date of receiving a valid application if no decision has been made. The appeal must be submitted within four months of the date when the decision should have been made.
How to make an appeal
You can get the appeal form online:
You can send your appeal online, post it to the PAC or deliver it by hand to PAC's office:Planning Appeals Commission
87 - 91 Great Victoria Street
What it will cost
Each appeal must be accompanied by a fee, currently £126.
Everyone has to pay their own expenses in the appeals process. The overall cost will depend on whether professional advisers or representatives are employed.
How to take part
If you made representations to your local council or the Department for Infrastructure (DfI), PAC will receive a copy of your correspondence. You will be invited to take part in the appeals process.
The commission will also advertise the appeal in the local press. If you did not write before or have something new to say, you can write to PAC within 14 days of the advertisement being published.
PAC will ask the council or DfI for background papers. You can ask for copies.
There are two types of appeal procedure, 'written representations' (with or without an accompanied site visit) or 'hearing'. The applicant making the appeal, the council or DfI have the right to a hearing.
You can provide written evidence in support of your case and take part in a hearing or site visit depending on the appeal procedure chosen.
PAC will share this evidence with other parties participating in the appeal.
The hearing or site visit will be conducted by a commissioner who will consider the evidence and provide a written decision on the appeal. Sometimes a group of commissioners will decide the appeal.
If you have participated in the appeal, you will be receive a copy of the decision.
Withdrawing an appeal
You can withdraw your appeal at any time before it is decided. You may want to do this if you, the council or DfI can reach agreement without an appeal.
PAC has authority to award costs in planning and related appeals.
Costs awards may be made in favour of, and against, any party to an appeal. Costs awards are intended to provide redress when one party to an appeal has put another party to unnecessary expense because of unreasonable behaviour.
The commission make their decision on material presented by the parties involved in the appeal.
The commission doesn't instigate a cost award. They'll award costs only when one or more of the parties in the appeal claim costs.
For more information on planning appeals, the appeals process and awarding costs, go to PAC website: