Councils have the right to refuse planning permission for a development; lodging a Planning Appeal is needed to contend the refusal of planning permission, and as part of this process the Council will have to set out the clear and unambiguous reasons why an application was refused.

The Hearings process is similar to the Written Representation process, where an independent Planning Inspector is asked to rule on whether to uphold the Council’s decision or overturn it and grant planning permission. In terms of how an appeal is decided, the key difference is that in addition to providing a full written Statement of Case, there is a one-day hearing with an Inspector to explore the issues in more detail, allowing a closer examination of the Council’s decision making.

Hearings allow the Appellant to recover costs against the Council, where it is considered that the Council has been exhibiting unreasonable behaviour in the Appeals process.

The Process Around Hearing Appeals

The Hearing Appeal Process is as follows:

  • Planning Permission Refused by the Council
  • Review Decision and any delegated/Committee Report
  • Prepare and Submit a Planning Appeal with a Full Statement of Case Setting out why planning permission should be granted.
  • Appeal Received and validated by the Inspectorate (the start date)
  • 1 Week from the start date – Council provides the Inspectorate with a copy of its questionnaire
  • 5 weeks from the start date – Council provides its Full Statement of Case
  • 7 weeks from the start date – Appellant can provide commentary on the Council’s Statement of case
  • TBC – Hearing date arranged, attend hearing and subsequent Site Visit with the Inspector Decision subsequently issued.

We never charge for that initial conversation and investigation into your site or development and we always give you a free initial assessment of your chances of success.

Contact us for your free initial assessment

Why Choose Us?

Experienced lead advocate for your case.

Skilled at verbal presentation of case at inquiry.

Long standing & strong working relationships with the team of professionals you need on your case.

McLoughlin Planning has extensive experience in submitting Hearing based Planning Appeals. In submitting an Appeal, it is imperative that the full facts of the case are understood so that a realistic assessment can be made of the likely chances of a successful outcome.

In preparing written evidence, we carefully analyse the Council’s reasons for refusal, looking for weak points in the Council’s Decision or the misinterpretation of planning policy. We counter the Council’s case by referring to positive policies in the Local Plan supporting development as well as national planning policy guidance which is a powerful material consideration. As necessary, we also call on our trusted advisors to provide expert analysis of reasons for refusal outside of our area of expertise.

We lead the presentation of your case at the Hearing, making compelling planning arguments.

Find out more about our work

Retail & Public Sector

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We help deliver vital public infrastructure to help build stronger communities.

We work with various public sector partners, including local government, Town and Parish Councils and County Councils, to guide important infrastructure projects through the planning process. Taking a collaborative approach with councils and communities helps us understand all parties' needs and deliver the projects required.


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A thriving economy is reliant on a buoyant commercial sector - we help deliver the permissions companies need.

We have comprehensive experience in promoting commercial sites for different uses across a diverse range of locations and overcoming a variety of scenarios. Our approach and expertise seek to understand and address environmental and social factors to maintain the integrity of our clients while ensuring the timely delivery of projects.

Residential Development

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We get results on a wide range of development projects – from single homes up to strategic sites.

Our expertise in supporting development projects from single homes up to strategic sites allows us to work on one of the biggest challenges the UK experiences; delivering housing to meet demand. We take an innovative, collaborative and strategic approach to sites in developed and undeveloped areas, including those that are allocated for homes and others in the promotion phase.

Health Care

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We help put in place the amenities that support communities and provide much needed medical care for our population.

We work with care providers on projects helping them implement or improve infrastructure in order to provide the very best medical facilities for the community. Experience shows us that a collaborative approach is required to understand the needs and desires of all interested parties and to achieve the best outcome.

Rural & Estates

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We are proud of our record in the rural economy and our role in the countryside.

Our expertise includes offering advice on agricultural development, diversification and redevelopment projects for rural clients and estate managers. We have experience working with agricultural advisors and agents, giving us valuable links and insight into the community. Our membership of the CLA, AVA and support for the RAU is invaluable to our work.

Private Client

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We guide our private clients through the planning system to realise their hopes and dreams.

Our highly experienced consultants offer their expertise and discretion to guide private clients to realise their hopes and dreams. We take the time to get to know our clients and work out how to achieve their project ambitions on time and on budget.

Home Owner

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Create the home you want and need

We work with homeowners and their architects or designers to offer comprehensive support in obtaining planning permission for their home modifications, extensions or outbuildings; an area particularly popular with the increased numbers of people choosing to work from home in recent years.

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Our clients

Our focus is our clients, delivery results and building lasting relationships. Since our foundation in 2009, we’ve worked with a breadth of clients that stretch from individuals realising a development aspiration to FTSE 100 listed companies with dedication to our client’s needs at the core of every engagement.


Get in touch

If you are interested in finding out how we can help you please get in touch