How can we help you...

Planning Application Appeals

How to appeal a decision

If you want to appeal a decision made on a 'local' application, please print off the following forms:

If your appeal is for any other application, the relevant form and guidance can be found by accessing the Scottish Government's Appeal Forms page:

Appeals against a decision made at officer level should be made directly to Aberdeen City Council where the Local Review Board will assess the appeal. Appeals to the Scottish Ministers will be the recourse for those applications determined by Planning Committee or Full Council, or those remaining undetermined that would not fall within the Scheme of Delegation.

Please note, all appeals must be made within three months of the decision. Also, the right to appeal a decision in respect to a planning application in Scotland is only available to the applicant.

Construction - Midstocket View, Aberdeen

Changes to the Appeal System in Scotland

The way that appeals for planning applications can be appealed has changed. The Council's new scheme of delegation will allow us to determine applications falling in the category of 'Local Development' with some exceptions. These exceptions are: where an application has been made by the Council itself, or a member of staff or Councillor; where it relates to land owned by the Council or there is a financial interest; for certain types of 'bad neighbour' development; where is an objection from the local Community Council or the Council's roads engineers or environmental health officers; where there are 5 or more objections; and, where the application must be referred to the Scottish Ministers.

The only exception to this is that Planning Committee may decide to determine an application that could otherwise be delegated. Where this happens, a statement of the reasons for the decision to determine the application at committee, must be made and copied to the applicant.  Below is an outline of how the new appeal process will work in practice.

Local Reviews will replace the current appeal to the Scottish Ministers, for applications decided by Planning Officers.

  • Local Review Body (LRB) will consist of at least three elected members. There will also be a planning advisor and the Body may request advice from experts on particular subjects when and if needed;
  • Meetings must be in public;
  • Method of determination (i.e. written submissions or hearing) is at the discretion of the LRB;
  • No automatic right for applicant or others to be make oral representation;
  • The process must be fair and transparent;
  • Where an application has not been determined within 2 months, and 'Notice of Review' served by the applicant, but review not carried out within 2 months, the applicant may then appeal to the Scottish Ministers.

The Review Process

  • 'Notice of Review' must be served by the applicant on the planning authority within 3 months of decision, or date of expiry of period allowed for determining application (2 months unless period for determination has been extended by agreement);
  • Applicants must include, inter alia, reasons for requiring review; preferred method of review; matters to be raised and documents to be used and further information will only be accepted where requested by LRB;
  • The LRB will make interested parties aware – statutory consultees and objectors;
  • 14 days is period for further representations. The applicant may see these and make further comment;
  • LRB may then determined the review; or,
  • Hold a pre-examination meeting – giving notice to interested parties as they consider reasonable;
  • At pre-examination meeting LRB may request further information by way of written submissions or hearings and/or site visit; decided matters to be discussed and procedure to follow. Regulations cover these matters and how to deal with new evidence;
  • Decision notice must include issues considered and reasons for decision;
  • If the applicant wishes to question the validity of the decision application may be made to the Court of Session within 6 weeks.

Appeals to the Scottish Ministers – Appeal Regulations

Appeals to the Scottish Ministers will be the recourse for those applications determined by Planning Committee or Full Council, or those remaining undetermined that would not fall within the Scheme of Delegation.

The changes to the planning appeal system introduced by the 2006 Act include removal of the automatic right to appear before and be heard by a person appointed by Scottish Ministers, a restriction on the introduction of new material in the appeal process and confirmation that it will not be possible to vary a proposal once an appeal has been made.

For more information on the new appeal process, please contact Planning and Sustainable Development or the Scottish Government.

Back to Planning Application Decision Making Process page.