Planning & Environment

Yet another deemed-refusal appeal refused on technical grounds as being out of time demonstrates why the current rules for deemed-refusal appeals and reviews are far too complicated. The applicant bears all the risk of any error, which can seem very unfair. This is a subject we’ve touched on before and we’ve produced a table setting out what the time limits are. In brief, the rules you need to remember are as follows:

  • you can’t extend the period for determination of an application for a local development that is delegated to an officer for determination;
  • to be valid, an agreement to extend the period for determination must be made within the period for determination of the application (i.e. the first two or four months) or subsequently within the period so extended;
  • you have three months to make a deemed refusal appeal (or application for review) from the end of the determination period;
  • if you don’t use your right to a deemed refusal appeal, you lose it;
  • the planning authority still has a duty to determine your application (but you don’t have much leverage over them).

The error in this latest case was that the appellant had failed to agree an extension of the period for determination of the planning application in writing before the period had ended but only did so in retrospect. We previously reported a case where the planning authority and appellant were content to extend, but failed to record their agreement in writing. And we’ve mentioned the problem that you can’t always tell whether an application is delegated or not, and therefore whether you can preserve your right to a deemed refusal appeal by agreeing an extension with the planning authority.

But what reason is there for having such a strict time limit and complex set of rules on deemed refusal appeals or reviews? Why shouldn’t the applicant be able to make a deemed refusal appeal at any time before determination of an application?

Planning & Environment