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Appeals and Local Reviews

Where someone who has made an application for planning permission wants to challenge the terms of the planning authority's decision (or where no decision has been made within the set timescale), they have a right to either:

  • appeal to Scottish Ministers; or
  • request a review by the planning authority's local review body.

Only one of these options will be available. Which one depends on the circumstances of the application and will be set out in a form accompanying the decision notice from the planning authority.

Major planning applications, and any others not covered by the planning authority's scheme of delegation for local developments, are decided by elected members of the planning authority. In these cases, the decision can be appealed to Scottish Ministers, through the Scottish Government's Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA).

If a proposal is a local development and falls under the planning authority's scheme of delegation - the responsibility for deciding the planning application sits with an official of the planning authority rather than elected members. These decisions can be challenged through the local review body, which is made up of a group of three or more elected members of the planning authority. Information about a scheme of delegation, or about requesting a local review, can be obtained from the relevant planning authority.

There is one exception: A local review case can subsequently be appealed to Scottish Ministers where:

  • an applicant seeks a local review because the planning authority official had not decided the planning application within two months; and
  • the local review body then also fail to make a decision within a further three months.

Also Worth Seeing

Best practice guidance notes developed by the Local Review Body Forum: