Appeals to Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA) by developers: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

FOI reference: FOI/19/00710  
Date received: 13/3/2019
Date responded: 17/4/2019
Information requested
1. When the Reporter recommends to the Scottish Government that a decision by a local authority to refuse a planning application for three or more dwelling houses should be reversed, what factors are taken into consideration?

2. What was the total number of appeals lodged by developers against decisions by local authorities to refuse planning permission for proposed developments of three or more dwelling houses in each of 2016, 2017 and 2018?

3. How many of these appeals were upheld each of these years?

4. Please name the 10 companies that have made the highest number of appeals against planning refusal decisions for proposed developments of three or more dwelling houses between 2016 and 2018 inclusive. How many appeals did each company make and how many of these were upheld?
If I might firstly explain that, because, the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.
Response to Question 1 is as follows :

A reporter appointed by Scottish Ministers decides most appeals. In a small number of cases, ministers will make the decision following the appointed reporter's submissions and recommendations. I attach below a link to further guidance on appealing planning related decisions or notices for your convenience.

Each appeal is considered solely on the facts as they relate to the individual proposal. Reporters are required to consider appeals in accordance with the development plan for the area affected, unless material considerations indicate otherwise. A material consideration is a matter that should be taken into account in deciding a planning application or on an appeal against a planning decision. Those material considerations cover a wide range and can include (but are not limited to) Scottish Planning Policy, the National Planning Framework, a proposed strategic or local development plan, community plans and the environmental impact of the proposal as well as legitimate public concern or support expressed on relevant planning matters.

More information about material considerations can be viewed within Planning Circular 3/2013: Development Management Procedures at the following link :

The decision (or recommendation) of a reporter is the outcome of a process in which all relevant parties and objectors have the opportunity to participate, the reporter weighing all submissions before coming to their conclusion.
Response to Qu’s 2 and 3 is as follows :
A total of 154 (valid) appeals were made to DPEA in the (combined) years 2016, 2017 and 2018. A breakdown of those appeals, for each year noted, in terms of whether they were upheld(allowed), Dismissed(refused), Withdrawn or are yet to be determined, is attached at *Table A within the Annex at the end of this letter.
Response to Qu 4 is as follows :
A table containing the top 10 companies who have made the highest number of appeals for proposed developments of three or more dwelling houses in the years specified is held at **Table B within the Annex at the end of this letter. A breakdown of those appeals, for each year noted, in terms of whether they were upheld(allowed) or dismissed(refused) is also contained within this table.
About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at
FoI-19-00710 Table A, Table B


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit 
Phone: 0300 244 4000 
The Scottish Government 
St Andrew's House 
Regent Road 

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