At Mercantile, our Planning Law barristers have extensive experience of Town and Country Planning Law. We are regularly instructed to advice on all aspects of planning, highway and environment law, from major regeneration projects to providing advice on planning enforcement.

Our expertise in an advisory capacity extends to: compulsory purchases; drafting and negotiating section 106 agreements, advising on the community infrastructure levy; the National Planning Policy Framework; the national planning policy guidance; local plan policies; Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations; listed building and conservation area issues; appropriate use of planning conditions; certificates of lawful use and development; enforcement matters; planning application; planning appeals and refused planning permissions.

In contentious circumstances, our Planning Law barristers are excellent at devising tactical and strategic planning dispute resolution strategies.


    We do not undertake legal aid work, free consultations nor work on a no win, no fee basis.

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    How long does a planning appeal take?

    Depending on the type of planning appeal, the amount of time it takes can vary from case to case. There is no set timescale for a planning appeal decision (the median and mean duration for appeal decisions is listed on the website as a guide). However an application must be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate within a period of 6 months of the decision. Or when appealing non-determination, within 6 months of the date by which the local planning authority ought to have determined the application.

    How do you challenge a planning decision?

    There are mainly two ways to challenge a planning decision. One is for the applicant to make an appeal in writing to the Planning Inspectorate. The other is to bring a judicial review of the planning decision. A judicial review is available to any party that can demonstrate that they have an interest in a decision made by a public body.

    Can a neighbour appeal against a planning decision?

    A neighbour cannot make an appeal against a decision made by the Planning Inspectorate; that option is only available to the applicant. A neighbour can conceivably make an application for judicial review.

    Can I appeal against a property extension planning approval?

    The only party with leave to appeal a planning decision is the applicant, unless a judicial review is pursued through the Courts.

    Can my neighbours block planning?

    Interested parties can provide the Planning Officer with objections to planning applications, when made during the consultation stage in the method outlined by the Planning Officer. Whether or not the Planning Officer considers the objections valid, and therefore takes them into account depends on the context of the development and the objection.

    Is it worth appealing a planning refusal?

    Depending upon the reason for the refusal, it could be worth appealing the application, but this can take a long time and can be very costly. It is best that you consult with expert Planning Barristers as to whether appealing the refusal is likely to succeed, and whether a better step may be to make a fresh application taking into account the reason  for the refusal.

    How much does planning appeal cost?

    Planning appeals are known to be costly and time consuming. It is worth checking whether an appeal, or a fresh application is the best course of action.

    What are the reasons to object to planning applications and why planning applications may be rejected?

    • Loss of light or overshadowing
    • Overlooking/loss of privacy
    • Visual amenity (but not loss of private view)
    • Adequacy of parking/loading/turning
    • Highway safety
    • Traffic generation
    • Noise and disturbance resulting from use
    • Hazardous materials
    • Loss of trees

    To instruct any of our Planning Law Barristers, please call our clerks on +44 (0) 20 3034 0077 or send your details or email us