Appealing a planning permission decision
If your local authority accepts your application for planning permission after reviewing it and any submissions or observations on it, your permission will be granted, unless someone appeals the decision to An Bord Pleanála. This appeal must be made within 4 weeks of the date of this decision.
You can only appeal a decision to An Board Pleanála if you:
- Applied to the planning authority for the proposed development. This is called a first-party appeal.
- Made a written submission or observation to the planning authority about the proposed development at an earlier stage. This is called a third-party appeal.
For example, you can appeal:
- All or part of the planning authorities decision about your planning application
- Against a decision to give someone else planning permission. In this case you must have made a written submission or observation to the planning authority on the relevant application.
There are 3 exceptions that allow certain organisations and people to appeal someone else’s planning decision in certain circumstances, even if they have not made submissions or observations at the planning authority stage. These include:
- Specific organisations listed in the Planning and Development Regulations that should have been notified about a planning application as required by law, but were not informed of the application
- Organisations that promote environmental protection, if an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) was not submitted with a planning application when it had to have one
- Anyone who has an interest in the land which borders the site where planning permission has been granted. In this situation you apply to the Board for leave to appeal the decision. If the Board grants you ‘leave to appeal’, you must make your appeal within two weeks of receiving notification of this.
If a valid appeal has already been made by either the applicant or a third party, any other person can become an "observer" and make submissions or observations on the appeal.
Applicants, appellants or the planning authority involved in the appeal can request an oral hearing on a planning appeal. An oral hearing is a public meeting to allow relevant issues in a case to be discussed and examined. An Bord Pleanála will normally only grant an oral hearing if the case is particularly complex or significant national or local issues are involved.
An Bord Pleanála aims to make a decision within 18 weeks. However, if this is not possible, it will inform all the parties of this.
In general, An Bord Pleanála will either:
- Grant planning permission
- Grant planning permission with conditions, or
- Refuse planning permission.
Once a decision is reached in a planning appeal, the Board will not discuss the pros and cons of the decision. All decisions are final and can only be challenged by judicial review in the High Court. In these situations, the High Court will judge if the Board followed due process in reaching its decision, but will not look at the planning merits of an appeal.
Anyone can inspect files that the Board received about appeals, after the appeals have been decided. Some recent case files can be read online at pleanala.ie and older files can be viewed at the Board's offices for a period of at least 5 years after the appeal decision. An Bord Pleanála has more information on this in its guide on viewing a decided case file: public access (pdf).
You must make the appeal to An Bord Pleanála within 4 weeks of the date the decision was made by the planning authority.
Your appeal must include the following:
- Your own name and address
- Details of the proposed development, the name of the local authority, the planning register reference number and (if you are a third party) the planning applicant's name and address
- The full grounds of the appeal with supporting material and arguments. The grounds of the appeal must relate to planning issues only. The Board cannot take other issues into consideration.
- The correct fee
- If you are a third-party applicant, an acknowledgement from the planning authority that you made a submission or observations on the application to it
If you do not submit all the documentation, the appeal will be considered invalid and cannot be considered by An Bord Pleanála.
You cannot give the Board additional information after you have made your appeal, unless the Board requests this.
You will be charged a fee if you wish to make an appeal to An Bord Pleanála. The fee for making an appeal depends on the type of case and the relevant legislation.
How to apply
The appeal must be made in writing to the Secretary of An Bord Pleanála at the address below. An Bord Pleanála has easy-to-read guides with information on making a planning appeal, making an observation on a planning appeal and requesting an oral hearing on a planning appeal.
Where to apply