An Bord Pleanála

Making a Planning Appeal

    About this guide

    This guide provides information on how to make a valid planning appeal. You can send us your planning appeal using the Planning Appeal Form. You can find it on our website www.pleanala.ie or by contacting our office. You can also make an appeal by writing to us.

    We have tried to make this guide as accurate and helpful as possible, however, it is not legal advice. NALA has awarded this document its Plain English Mark

    The full PDF guide can be downloaded here [PDF, 297KB]

    Contents

    What is an appeal?
    Who can appeal?
    Making an appeal
    After you make your appeal
    Frequently Asked Questions
    Legislation
    Contact Us

    What is an appeal?

    Generally, any person wanting to carry out development must apply for planning permission to their local county council, city council or city and county council (the planning authority). The planning authority will make a decision on the application either to grant or to refuse planning permission. You can appeal this decision to An Bord Pleanála.

    Who can appeal?

    You can make an appeal if either of the two descriptions below apply to you:


    1. You made an application to the planning authority for a proposed development.
    You are making a first party appeal. A first party can appeal:
    • the planning authority's decision to refuse permission;
    • any conditions the planning authority attaches to a grant of permission decision;
    • how a planning authority applies the terms of a Development Contribution Scheme or a Supplementary Development Contribution Scheme to conditions in a grant of permission. You can also appeal how the planning authority has applied a special contribution condition. These are Section 48 or Section 49 appeals.
    2. You made a submission to the planning authority on a proposed development.
    You are making a third party appeal. A third party can appeal:
    • the decision of the planning authority;
    • any conditions the planning authority attaches to a grant of permission decision.

    If you think that neither of the two descriptions above apply to you, there are certain other limited situations when you can make an appeal. You can find further details about these situations and who can make appeals in the factsheet "What can I appeal?" or by contacting us. You may also be able to take part by making an observation on a valid appeal.  

    Making an appeal

    How do I make an appeal?
    You must make your appeal in writing and post or deliver it in person to us. It is not currently possible to make an appeal online. There is a Planning Appeal Form which you can complete. The form can be typed or handwritten. However, you do not have to complete this form to make an appeal and you can either use the form or write to us.

    How much time do I have to make an appeal?
    You must make your appeal within four weeks beginning on the date the planning authority makes its decision. This is a strict time limit. The decision date is the date that the chief executive's order is signed. This document may have been sent to you or will be available from the planning authority's website. We must have your appeal by 5.30pm on the final day to make an appeal.

    If you have been granted leave to appeal by the Board, there is a different time limit to make your appeal.

    Example
    The planning authority makes its decision today, Wednesday 2 March.
    You have four weeks to make your appeal before deadline. calendar2march
    Your last date to make an appeal is on or before 5.30pm on Tuesday 29 March (four weeks later).

    Our website has a calendar calculator to help you work out the last day for making your appeal. There are different rules about time limits between December 24 and January 1 (inclusive) which can affect the last date.

    How much does an appeal cost?
    There are many fee types. Please see our Fees and Charges Guide to find out the fee for your appeal, or contact us for help. You must make sure that the correct fee is included with the appeal.

    How can I pay for my appeal?
    There are many ways you can pay a fee to An Bord Pleanála.

     

    In person at our reception In the post

    Cash

    Accepted We advise you not to send cash in the post.

    Debit and Credit Cards

    Accepted Not accepted

    Cheques

    Accepted Accepted

    Bankers Drafts

    Accepted Accepted

    Postal Orders

    Accepted Accepted

    You can find more details about Fees and Charges and how you can pay for fees on our website.

What do I include in my appeal?
You should carefully prepare your grounds of appeal (reasons and arguments) and any documents you wish to include. When you have made your appeal, you cannot make any further submissions unless we specifically ask you for them. Please note that An Bord Pleanála cannot consider non-planning issues. 

To make a complete and valid appeal:

    You must put your appeal in writing (either typed or handwritten)
    You must clearly state your own name and address. If a planning agent is acting for you, the agent must clearly state their own name and address as well as your name and address.

    You must give us enough details to allow us to easily identify the application you wish to appeal. Examples of the details we accept are:
    • a copy of the planning authority decision, or
    • name of the planning authority and the planning register reference number (for example: Ballytown City Council, 23719/18)

    You must provide us with:
    • your planning grounds of appeal (reasons and arguments) for wanting the planning authority's decision changed, and
    • any items you wish to support your grounds of appeal.
    If you are a third party, you must include the written acknowledgement given to you by the planning authority to confirm it received your submission or observation at planning application stage. We can also accept a copy of the acknowledgement.
    You must pay the correct fee.
    You must make your appeal within 4 weeks from the date that the planning authority has made its decision.

    A checklist to help you make your appeal is available on our website or by contacting us.


    Where do I send or deliver my appeal?

    You must:

    • post it to: The Secretary, An Bord Pleanála, 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1, D01 V902,
      or

    • deliver it in person to a member of An Bord Pleanála staff at our office in Marlborough Street (address above) during office hours - Monday to Friday from 9.15am to 5.30pm. Please note that the security staff in our office cannot accept appeals.

    warning

    Remember, do not place your appeal in the letterbox of our office and do not email it to us as your appeal will be invalid.
    We are closed on weekends, public holidays and other publicised days such as Christmas Day and Good Friday.

    Can I get a receipt if I deliver my appeal in person?
    Yes, if you deliver your appeal in person to our office you can ask for a receipt which says that we have received your appeal. When your appeal is handed to a member of An Bord Pleanála staff, we cannot return it nor can we make a photocopy of your documents with our date stamp.

    Will I receive a receipt if I send my appeal by post?
    Yes, we will send you a receipt in the post.

    What is an oral hearing?
    An oral hearing is sometimes held to help our inspector gather more information from participants. The Board will generally only hold an oral hearing to help it understand a particularly complex case or if it involves significant national or local issues. The Board has the power to hold an oral hearing with or without a request for one.

    How do I ask for an oral hearing?
    To ask for an oral hearing you need make an oral hearing request. To make a request you must:

    • tick the box that says "Yes, I want to request an oral hearing" on the Planning Appeal Form, or
    • write to us and ask for one.

    Please note you will have to pay an additional non-refundable fee of €50. Further information on how to make this request is available on our website or by contacting us.


    After you make your appeal

    Have I made a valid or invalid appeal?
    After we receive your appeal, we will check that it meets the statutory requirements to be a valid appeal. If your appeal does not meet these requirements, it is invalid.

    Next, we will send you a letter to tell you that we have:

    • received your appeal, and
    • found your appeal to be valid or invalid.

    What do I need to do next if my appeal is valid?
    If your appeal is valid you do not need to do anything else at this point. During the appeal process, we may send you a letter about:

    • comments or observations you may be invited to give on something we have received,
    • the Board's decision to hold an oral hearing,
    • details about an oral hearing,
    • when the Board hopes to make a decision if it is not possible within the 18 weeks' time period.

    If we write to you, please follow the instructions or advice in the letter. If you need help following the instructions or advice, you can contact us. Please quote the appeal case reference number on the letter, so we can identify your case.

    What happens if my appeal is invalid?
    If your appeal is invalid, we will return all your documents to you. We will refund your fee by cheque. You can re-submit the appeal only if you can fully meet all the statutory requirements.

    Why is my appeal invalid?
    Some reasons why appeals are invalid are:

    • the appeal does not fully meet all the statutory requirements as described in this guide,
    • the appeal was posted in the letterbox of our office or emailed to us,
    • the appeal is about something that we have no responsibility for.

    Further details about invalid appeals are available on our website.

    What does An Bord Pleanála do next?
    An Bord Pleanála sends a copy of your appeal to:

    • the planning authority,
    • the applicant, and
    • any other appellant involved in the appeal.

    Participants have 4 weeks from the date we write our letter to submit their comments if they so wish. We cannot consider any comments that are late. We may write to case participants to ask for further submissions or information.

    An inspector will consider your appeal and all documentation. They will normally visit the site to gather more information and take photographs for their report. We may contact you to organise a time for the inspector to visit the site, however, an inspector may visit unannounced if they are in the area.

    After the site visit, the inspector prepares a report and recommendation for the Board. The Board will then make a decision based on all the documentation on the case.

    What is the time limit for deciding appeals?
    The Board has a statutory objective to try to decide cases within 18 weeks. The 18-week period includes any request periods mentioned previously. For example, if we ask you to comment on a submission and ask you to reply within 4 weeks, this 4-week period is part of the overall 18-week appeal period.

    If the Board cannot make a decision within 18 weeks, we will write to participants in the appeal to update them.

    When the Board makes a decision, we will send you a letter and a copy of the Board Order to let you know the decision. More information about the Board's decision is available on our website.

    Can I withdraw my appeal?
    Yes, you can withdraw your appeal any time before a decision is made. You must write to us and state that you wish to withdraw your appeal. We cannot refund your fee.

    The applicant has withdrawn their application. Will the Board still consider my appeal?
    No. If the applicant withdraws their application, there is no longer a valid appeal.

    Can the Board dismiss an appeal?
    Yes. The Board can dismiss an appeal where it is satisfied that the appeal is:

    • vexatious: intended only to annoy or disturb,
    • frivolous: lacking in seriousness,
    • without substance or foundation,
    • made just to delay the development,
    • made to secure the payment of money, gifts and considerations by anybody, or
    • made by a person who cannot be identified (in the Board's opinion).  

     

    Frequently asked questions

    Can I make the appeal online?
    No. It is not currently possible to make an appeal online.

    Can I pay the fee over the telephone by debit or credit card?
    No. We cannot accept fee payments over the telephone.

    Can I email or fax an appeal and send the fee in the post?
    No. To make a valid appeal, you need to send all the documents required and the appropriate fee. They must arrive together before the close of the 4-week period.

    Can I make an anonymous appeal?
    No. You must provide your name and full address when making your appeal.

    Can you accept a late appeal?
    No. By law, An Bord Pleanála cannot accept a late appeal for any reason.

    What if An Bord Pleanála's office is closed on the last day allowed for making an appeal?
    If the last date for us to receive an appeal is on a weekend, public holiday or other day when our office is closed, we can receive your appeal by 5.30pm on the next working day that our office is open. More details are available on our website.

    Can I get proof that I made an appeal?
    Yes, if you visit our office to deliver your appeal in person, we can give you a receipt that we have received it. This receipt does not confirm that your appeal is valid. We do not provide a photocopy of your appeal documents with our date stamp.

    Why is the appeal invalid even though I posted it on time?
    Your appeal is invalid as you may have posted it on time, but we did not receive it within 4 weeks from the date of the decision of the planning authority.

    What happens if my appeal is invalid?
    If your appeal is invalid, we will return your documents and fee.

    An Bord Pleanála has returned my invalid appeal. Can I re-submit the appeal?
    Yes, but only if you can fully meet all the requirements as described in this guide, then you may appeal again.

    Can I make my views known without appealing?
    Yes. You can become an observer where a valid appeal has already been made against the decision of a planning authority. Our making an observation guide provides further details on observations.

    Can I be sued for what I write in my appeal?
    Yes, you could be sued. You should refer only to relevant planning issues. Our notice on defamation explains more. Defamation is when a person communicates false statements about another person that injure that person's reputation.

    Can I submit additional information after I have made my appeal?
    No. You cannot give us additional information after you have made your appeal. Occasionally, we may ask you to give us more information or to respond to the submissions made. If we do, you should reply within the time we will specify.

    How can I find out if someone has appealed a planning decision?
    You can use the search facility on our website to check if an appeal has been received for the planning decision in which you are interested. We add new appeals to the website each Wednesday. This can be a day or two later around public holidays and Christmas.


    Legislation

    The laws and regulations referred to in this document are:

     

    Contact us

    If you want a copy of this document in a different format or if you need more information, please contact An Bord Pleanála.

     

Last modified: 01/08/2019