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).

Glossary of terms

Agent – A person or business appointed to lodge an appeal or make a representation on behalf of another person or organisation

Appellant – The person or organisation making an appeal to the Scottish Ministers.

Applicant – The person or organisation making an application that is subject to examination by Scottish Ministers

Call-In – where Scottish Ministers direct that an application being considered by the planning authority should be referred to them for determination.

Case Officer - named official at DPEA who will be the first point of contact on the case and carry out all administration.

Circular – A government publication setting out procedural matters and guidance.

Closing Submissions – A summary of a party’s case which may be requested by the reporter when all procedures in a case are concluded. The submissions should address all the topics upon which a party wishes to make representations including any submissions on the evidence heard at any hearing or inquiry sessions.

Delegated – A power conferred to reporters by Scottish Ministers, so that the reporter may take decisions on specified matters, or undertake an examination of a development plan on their behalf.

Documents – Documents which are submitted as evidence in relation to an oral session (hearing or inquiry), shared with all parties and published on DPEA website.

Hearing - A round-table discussion led by the reporter and undertaken in a structured way, but without the formality of an inquiry

Interested party – This is the term given to parties who made representation (either in support or objection) to the authority at the time the application was before them for consideration, which were not subsequently withdrawn by that party. The party can be an individual, a community body, residents association, or a petition organiser.

Inquiry – A more formal event than a hearing, involving the cross-examination of witnesses. Inquiries are presided over by a reporter, and may be held to discuss particularly complex planning matters

Local Development Plan (LDP) – A document which sets out the local authority’s policies and proposals for the development and use of land in their area. It identifies where development should and shouldn’t happen. Local development plans allocates sites, either for new development, such as housing or sites to be protected.

Strategic Development plans deal with region wide issues that cross boundaries of planning authority areas such as scale of housing and transport and water and connections needed.

Local Review Body – The local review body (LRB) is made up of a group of three or more elected members of the planning authority. Requests for a review should be made to the LRB, rather than to Scottish Ministers, in cases where an application for a ‘local development’ (as specified by a planning authority’s ‘scheme of delegation’) has been decided by a planning authority official. The decision notice for all planning applications should specify whether the right of appeal lies with the LRB or with Scottish Ministers.

Objection - a term sometimes used to describe a comment against a particular policy or proposal. ‘Representation’ is a more correct term.

Planning Authority – The public authority (generally the planning authority or national park authority) whose duty it is to carry out specific planning functions for a particular area including preparing local plans, determining planning applications and carrying out enforcement against unauthorised development.

Planning Authority Appeal Response Form (PARF) – A form to be completed by the planning authority when responding to an appeal, containing information relevant to the reporter’s determination of the appeal.

Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA) – Part of the Scottish Government which deals with a wide range of appeals from decisions of planning or local authorities on behalf of Scottish Ministers.

Planning policies – contained in development plans or in supplementary planning guidance, these set out criteria against which planning applications are determined.

Precognition – A written statement of evidence to be read out by a witness to an inquiry. Those matters likely to be subject to cross-examination must be referred to in the precognition of each party, so that the opposing party has fair warning of such cross-

Recall - where Scottish Ministers direct that an appeal being considered by DPEA should be referred to them for determination.

Report - A report issued by a reporter regarding the planning issues debated at the
examination of a case. The recommendations contained in reports are considered by the Scottish Ministers in making their decision.

Reporter – The person appointed by Scottish Ministers to consider and in most cases, decide the appeal.

Representee – a person who has made a representation to a case.

Representation – a formal statement/letter or proforma which communicates an opinion or registers an objection or note of support regarding a case.

Scheme of Delegation – details the circumstances under which decisions on planning applications are made by planning authorities, by listing whether a decision is the responsibility of a planning officer or of a committee comprising of elected councillors.
Schemes of delegations differ from planning authority to planning authority and can usually be found on planning authority websites.

Section 75 Agreement – this is a legally binding obligation, usually agreed between the applicant/appellant and the planning authority, but can also be a unilateral obligation by the applicant/appellant, under Section 75 of The Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997. The obligation covers on-site provision of certain items and financial contributions that the applicant/appellant must pay to the planning authority. These can be for a wide range of things, including, but not limited to, education provision, cemetery provision, public art provision, open spaces and play areas. The agreement must be registered with the Land Register of Scotland. Where necessary, the reporter may issue a Notice of Intention, requesting that an obligation is agreed and registered before they will issue permission or consent for a development.

Site inspection - A visit to an area or areas of land by a reporter considering a case. Such visits may be accompanied or unaccompanied.

Statement – A statement which may be lodged by every party who intends to participate in an oral session. It should provide full particulars of the case which that party intends to put forward, set out a list of documents which are to be referred to, and list the witnesses who will give evidence at any inquiry sessions.

Statutory - Required by law (statute), usually through an Act of Parliament.

Supplementary guidance – Part of the development plan prepared and adopted by the planning authority to provide further information or detail on the polices or proposals that are in the local or strategic development plan, for example a master-plan for a site.
Supplementary Guidance may cover a range of Issues, both thematic and site specific. Supplementary guidance is not subject to examination by a reporter.



Telephone: 0300 244 6668

Planning and Environmental Appeals Division
Hadrian House
Callendar Business Park

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