Planning appeals and other cases: guidance on taking part

Guidance for participants in planning appeals and other cases handled by the Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA).



The Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA), a division of the Scottish Government Legal Directorate, considers and makes decisions and recommendations on a range of planning and environmental matters on behalf of Scottish Ministers. More information is available in our annual review about objectives, core values, achievements, and more detail about the people who make up DPEA

DPEA - appeals

A reporter appointed by Scottish Ministers decides most appeals In a small number of cases, Ministers will make the decision after receiving the appointed reporter’s report and recommendations. Reporters, who are normally very experienced planners, lawyers or architects are appointed by Ministers to each case, either to make a decision on behalf of Ministers or to report to Ministers with a recommendation. They are issued with guidance notes providing information about administrative processes and practices.

The majority of appeals will follow the procedures set by The Town and Country Planning (Appeals) (Scotland) Regulations 2013. But some other appeal types are covered by other legislation, and so follow different processes. Whatever the process for any appeal, core principles of fairness and robust decision-making will be at the heart of it.

The Town and Country Planning (Appeals) (Scotland) Regulations 2013 set out the processes for certain types of appeals against decisions made or notices served by a planning authority. These can be where a planning authority have:

  • refused an application
  • granted an application subject to conditions
  • not given notice of their decision on the application within the period prescribed in regulations

In addition, an appeal may be made against a notice that has been served by a planning authority.

The types of appeals that are covered by this legislation are:

Consent type appeals

  • planning permission appeals
  • listed building consent appeals
  • conservation area consent appeals
  • planning obligation appeals
  • good neighbour agreement appeals
  • certificate of lawful use or development appeals
  • tree works consent appeals
  • advertisement consent appeals

Notice types appeals

  • enforcement notice appeals
  • listed building enforcement appeals
  • conservation area enforcement appeals
  • advertisement enforcement notice appeals
  • advertisement discontinuance notice appeals
  • amenity notice appeals
  • tree replacement enforcement notice appeals

Other appeal types received by DPEA under different legislations - Community Asset Transfer Requests, which are covered by the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 and High Hedge Appeals which are covered by the High Hedges (Scotland) Act 2013

The planning appeal regulations are also used where a planning application is called in for a decision by the Scottish Ministers. This process is known as ‘calling-in’ an application. Scottish Ministers will normally only do this if the application conflicts with national policy or is nationally significant. There is no definitive list of criteria used to decide whether to call-in a planning application - each case is considered on its own merits. A substantial volume of objections is not, however, in itself sufficient grounds to call-in a planning application.

Similarly in cases where an appeal is already before DPEA, Scottish Ministers may decide to recall the appeal for their own determination. This process is known as ‘recalling’ an appeal, and the power is used sparingly and normally only in circumstances where a proposal raises issues of genuine national interest.

DPEA – non-appeals casework

In addition, DPEA also undertake examinations for various types of applications/orders which are referred to us from Scottish Government departments where we are asked to hold an examination and report to Scottish Ministers for their decision on the
application/order. These types of case include, but are not limited to:

  • wind farm applications made under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989, where the capacity  of the proposed wind farm will be above 50 megawatt
  • electricity line applications made under Section 37 of the Electricity Act 1989. Electricity  lines will not be less than 132 kilovolts
  • compulsory Purchase Orders
  • roads Orders
  • stopping Up Orders
  • necessary Wayleave Applications
  • core Paths Plans

If you are looking for advice on these types of cases, please go to the Other cases section.

DPEA are also involved in the examination of Local Development Plans. Further information on local development plan examinations can be found in our Development plan examination representations: guidance



Telephone: 0300 244 6668

Planning and Environmental Appeals Division
Hadrian House
Callendar Business Park

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