Planning Enforcement Notice appeals
If you started building or land development without planning permission, the local council or the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) may serve you with an Enforcement Notice. You can appeal an Enforcement Notice.
The council or DfI will ask you to apply for planning permission retrospectively, but much depends on the nature of the development and its effect on your neighbours.
If you ignore planning control rules, the council or DfI may serve an Enforcement Notice.
All appeals in Northern Ireland are handled by the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC). They'r independent of government departments and agencies.
Your right to appeal a notice
If you have been served with an Enforcement Notice, or are the owner or occupier of the land which is the subject of the notice, you have a right to appeal.
When you can appeal
PAC must receive your appeal before the date the Enforcement Notice takes effect. PAC has no power to extend this period.
If you want to appeal, you should pay careful attention to your grounds of appeal and the facts to support them as these will be the basis of your argument against the Enforcement Notice.
How to appeal
To download a form, go to:
You can send your appeal online to PAC, post it to PAC or deliver it by hand to their office You should keep the postal recorded delivery number.
If you deliver your appeal by hand, ask for a dated receipt. If you send your appeal online, ask for a 'read' receipt.Planning & Water Appeals Commissions
92 Ann Street Belfast
Belfast BT2 7AG
Fee for appealing a notice
Each enforcement appeal must be accompanied by a fee, currently £126.
An enforcement appeal allows for the possibility of applying for planning permission. If you wish to have the deemed application decided, you will need to pay an additional fee. This fee is the same as for an application for planning permission and you will be told the amount you need to pay in the information with the notice.
You must pay your 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 DfI, your correspondence will be copied to PAC. You will be invited to take part in the appeals process.
The commission will also advertise the appeal in the local press. If you have not written 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 representation' (with or without an accompanied site visit) or 'hearing'. The person making the appeal, the council or DfI have the right to a hearing.
You will have an opportunity to give written evidence to support your case and to take part in a hearing or site visit depending on which appeal procedure you choose.
PAC will share all evidence submitted with all parties participating in the appeal.
The hearing or site visit will be conducted by a commissioner who will consider the evidence and will then send a decision and copy it to all concerned. Sometimes a group of commissioners will decide an appeal.
Withdrawing an appeal
You can withdraw your appeal at any time before it is decided. If you withdraw, the Enforcement Notice will take effect immediately.
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 will base its conclusions and decisions on material presented to it by the parties involved in appeal proceedings. The commission will not instigate costs awards on its own - it will award costs only where a claim for costs has been made by one or more of the parties to the appeal.
For more information on enforcement notice appeals and the appeal process, go to PAC's website: