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Post decision refusal

A decision to refuse a development from conservatory to housing estate will result in different issues and sometimes further actions for different interested parties.  This will depend on if you were supporting, objecting or were the applicant.  This page seeks to outline some of the next potential steps.

What is a refusal?

A refusal is a formal decision from the Local Planning Authority and, unless otherwise stated, means permission or consent has not be granted for the entire proposed development, even if the reason for refusal only refers to a particular issue.  If in doubt please check with the case officer. 

When a refusal is issued it should be carefully considered as there are many kinds of refusal reasons and these include:

Insufficient Information: The application was considered not to provide sufficient information on a particular issue.  For example if the site is known to have contamination issues or wildlife matters and yet insufficient information was submitted to detail this matter and how it may be mitigated.  On this basis the Local Planning Authority can only assume there is a significant risk and does not have adequate information to consider otherwise. 

Often planning conditions seeking further information may avoid refusal, but these can not always be applied if it is considered there is a high likelihood that changes to the proposal itself may be needed as a result.  Equally some conditions may be considered a significant constraint that would not allow the development to go forward in the form proposed.

Refusal of principle: If the refusal relates to a principle of the development, for example contrary to the development plan or residential use in the middle of a flood zone then it is more often the case that no matter what changes are made to the size or design of the development the fundamental objection will likely remain.  Sometimes fundamental issues such as floodzones or policy issues can be addressed if changed or reviewed by appropriate authorities, but this is normally outside of the developer’s individual control or influence.

Refusal of details: The reason for refusal could be because the proposal is of poor design, intrusive, out of character with the area.  These issues have a chance of being resolved with changes to the proposal.  A planning officer can discuss changes with the developer that might be sufficient to address these reasons for refusal for a revised application.

Refusal of harm on amenity: Specific elements of the proposal may result in harm to neighbouring amenity, such as overlooking windows.  Again changes to the proposal may result in solutions leading to a revised scheme for a new application submission. 

Refusal as a Material Consideration

A decision to refuse a proposal is material consideration for both any future proposal on the same site and may be material for any other future decisions across the district.  What weight is given to the decision will depend on a number of factors, including the age of that decision, change in policy and circumstance of the site. 

A refusal is also important in respect of what it does not refuse.  For example if a dwelling is refused on design grounds, but not on traffic impact it would generally be unreasonable to refuse any revised proposal that may have resolved solve the design issues on traffic impact grounds unless there were specific grounds to do so.

Refusal and next steps

The Local Planning Authority does not refuse applications without being clear that it can and will defend that decision.  Mid Suffolk and Babergh welcome discussion regarding any refusal issue and will seek to work with developers to find potential solutions to address the reason/s for refusal.  Such working practice is supported at all levels of government. 

Pre Application Advice: Our pre application advice service will also provide post decision advice to all, but you may wish to talk to the case officer who dealt with the site and should include any references and their name in future communications to ensure that we can get you to the person who has the best knowledge to help you further.  Please click here to open our pre application pages

Free Go: To support revisions and changes to a proposal to resolve reasons for refusal planning fees may not apply for a second application.  There are requirements to be met to qualify for a free go. For further details click here.

Appealing the decision:  Only the applicant can appeal a refused decision.  There is currently no third party right to appeal.  Appeals are not encouraged and if there is a solutions to the issues raised within the refusal reason the Local Planning Authority would refer to work with the applicant to find them.  Further information on appeals can be found here

A refusal issue by the Local Planning Authority is not always the end as options to amend the proposal may be available and it is encouraged that these are explore with the planning officers.