Reasons planning permission can be refused

Planning permission

If you are embarking on a development project, it is more than likely that the planning permission application for the project will occupy a large amount of time and effort. You may have recently had an application refused, and you might be wondering why. 

There are a wide variety of factors to consider before an application for planning permission can be accepted. The more time that you spend reviewing local legislation and regulations, the more time you will save in the long run. There are a number of different factors that local authorities consider when reviewing applications, largely dependent on the local area. So, what possible reasons are there for a planning permission application being refused?

Applications are often refused due to issues that local authorities may have with the proposed development. Such issues include:

  • Incomplete applications
  • Loss of privacy
  • Potential damage to a host building
  • Negative effect on local amenities
  • Detrimental effect on the character of the local area
  • Traffic and parking pressures

Read on to find out more about why planning permission can sometimes be refused.

Top Reasons Why Your Planning Permission May Be Refused

It is important to consider the effect that your proposed development may have on the area that it is planned for. For example, is the proposal conflicting with local authority planning policies? Does your proposal clash with multiple council policies? Your proposal must be possible, and must not go against local or national planning policies, such as those set out in the Local Plan, Neighbourhood Plan, or the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Below are some of the key points that must be considered prior to your planning permission application being approved.

Incomplete applications

This may seem obvious, but a large number of planning permission applications are declined simply because they are either incomplete or contain errors. Be sure that before you submit your application, you have thoroughly checked every single detail to make sure that there are no errors that may lead to the application being refused.

Loss of privacy

Another reason why a large number of planning permission applications are refused is due to the impact that the proposed development would have on residents in the surrounding area and their privacy. It is safe to assume that people would prefer to remain private while in their homes, and so if your development would infringe upon other people’s right to privacy, your planning application will most likely be refused.

Potential damage to a host building

While this point mainly refers to developmenting a listed building, it can still apply to others. Areas and buildings that are considered to hold significant value or importance are highly protected by strict planning regulations. Without taking these unique regulations into consideration, your planning application will almost definitely be refused.  Seek advice from professionals if you are unsure of how to go about developing a listed building. 

Negative effect on local amenities

Amenities refer to facilities that are inside the boundaries of a property, but outside of the physical building. This could include gardens, balconies, parking, and security features. Local authorities are obliged to protect the living standards of local residents, and so if your development might negatively affect the quality of life for those in surrounding areas, your application may be refused.

Detrimental effect on character of the local area

In UK planning, this particular point becomes highly subjective, and will be varied from case to case. If your development might look significantly out of place when taking into consideration the local architectural style, your application may be refused. It is therefore important to consider the quality and size of your proposed development, especially with regards to accommodation projects and plans for development in and around the Green Belt.

Traffic and parking pressures

Does your proposed development have the potential to increase the volume of traffic to the local area? If so, have extra parking measures been implemented to your plans? If your development would reduce the amount of off-street parking available, increases the potential for congestion, or negatively impacts any on-street parking, you may be refused planning permission. 

Can Planning Permission be Revoked?

Under the Town and Country Planning Act (1990), local authorities have the power to revoke planning permission to ‘such an extent as they consider expedient’. However, this procedure is rarely used, so once your application has been accepted, it is highly unlikely that permission would then be rescinded. 

What Can I Do If I Have Been Refused Planning Permission?

Before a planning application is refused outright, you may be informed of your local authority’s decision prior to them refusing permission entirely. If this is the case, you will have a chance to withdraw your application and make any necessary adjustments. 

If you are certain of obtaining your original plans, you may be able to appeal a decision to refuse your planning permission via the Secretary of State, or by contacting the Planning Inspectorate

Get Help From the Experts at Planning & Design

Need help with your planning permission application? Be sure to contact us for any advice or guidance that you may require during the process. Our expert team is on-hand to assist with any of your planning, architecture or heritage requirements. 

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