Q. Our neighbours have just been granted planning permission to build a large two-storey extension on the side of their house. This will have quite an impact on our house. My husband and I had no idea that our neighbours had made a planning application; if we had known, we would have objected. Is there anything we can do now, perhaps appeal against the grant of the planning consent?
A. There is no right of appeal in regard to a planning permission made by a third party, so you cannot appeal against the planning permission granted to your neighbour. However, your local Council is required by law to publicise all planning applications by doing such things as placing advertisements in local papers, putting up a site notice and notifying neighbours in writing.
If you believe that your Council failed to do these things, then you can complain to the Council first and then to the Local Government Ombudsman, as the planning decision has actually been made.
If the planning application was approved without the proper publicity requirements, and the Council didn’t follow relevant legislation and guidance, the Ombudsman can award you a modest amount of compensation but cannot revoke the planning permission.
Another option is to challenge the planning permission by judicial review, although this is is a complex and often very expensive procedure. If successful, the planning permission may be quashed but would probably be sent back to the Council for them to deal properly with the application. Do consult an experienced planning lawyer if you want to follow this route.
For advice or more information, contact Fiona McNulty.