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After you make your observation on a planning appeal

This page explains what happens after you make an observation on a planning appeal.

Have I made a valid or invalid observation?

After we receive your observation, we will check that it meets the statutory requirements to be a valid observation. If your observation does not meet these requirements, it is invalid. Next, we will send you a letter to tell you that we have:

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


What do I need to do next if my observation is valid?

If your observation 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 observation is invalid?

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


Why is my observation invalid?

Some reasons why observations are invalid are:

  • the observation does not fully meet all the statutory requirements as described in this guide.
  • there is no valid appeal on which to make an observation.


What does An Bord Pleanála do next?

Your observation forms part of the case. The Board will 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. 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. 


Can I withdraw my observation?

Yes, you can withdraw your observation any time before a decision is made. You must write to us and state that you wish to withdraw your observation. We will not refund your fee.


The application or appeals have been withdrawn on the case. Will the Board still consider my observation?

No. If the applicant withdraws their application or all the appeals on the case are withdrawn, there is no longer a valid appeal. The original decision of the planning authority will apply.