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28th May 2024

Planning appeal success rates and timescales

Purely coincidentally, Rishi Sunak's announcement of a General Election was immediately followed by publication of updated Ministerial Measures on how quickly planning applications are decided. They show a significant improvement for hearings and inquiries, but alas not for written representations. The graphs provide a handy picture to share with clients when they ask you, "How long....?"

Figure 1: Percentage of appeals decided within set timescalessummary table showing percentages of appeals decided within 20, 26, 52 and 52+ weeks

Graph showing percentage of appeals decided within 20, 26, 52 and 52+ weeks

Figure 3: PINS timescales for written reps appeals, year to March 2024 (Count is in thousands)

graph showing spread of timescales for written reps appeal decisions


Figure 4: PINS timescales for hearings, year ending 31st March 2024 (Count is in thousands)

graph showing spread of timescales for appeal Decisions by hearings


Figure 5: PINS timescales for inquiries, year ending 31st March 2024 (Count is in thousands)

graph showing spread of timescales for appeal Decisions decided by Inquiries


Planning appeal success rates over the past quarter January - March 2024 average 28%, according to the latest statistics issued by the Planning Inspectorate.

Figure 1. s78 planning appeal success rates by quarter for the past 5 years

percentage of appeals allowed by quarter

The overall average obscures differences between different types of development and different appeal procedures. Certain types of development are generally more successful on appeal than other types, for example, major applications for 10+ dwellings have double the success rate on appeal compared to minor applications for under 10 dwellings, as shown in figure 2 below. Householder development also has a significantly higher success rate on appeal than appeals involving listed buildings.

Figure 2. Percentage of appeals allowed by type of development

Appeal success rates for written reps, hearings and inquiries

Written representation appeals (aqua line in the graph below) make up 93% of planning appeals so the overall appeal success rate (yellow) closely mirrors the average for this procedure.  The appeal success rates for Jan - March 2024 (Q4) were 27% for written representations appeals and 28% overall for all s78 planning appeals.

Appeals through the Hearings procedure (orange line in the graph below) had a higher success rate of 50% last quarter but comprise only 4% of s78 planning appeals.  Inquiries (black line) had an appeal success rate of 48% last quarter but make up only 3% of s78 planning appeals.

Figure 3. s78 planning appeal success rates by procedure type


Tempting as it is to ask for a hearing or an inquiry, the Planning Inspectorate has strict criteria for deciding when these procedures can be used, which can be found in Annex K of the PINS Planning Appeals Procedural Guide.


For written representations appeals, the median number of weeks from an appeal being ‘valid’ to its Decision in May 2024 was 28 weeks for s78 planning appeals and 16 weeks for householder appeals (Source: PINS).

Enforcement appeals by written reps in May 2024 had a median timescale of 53 weeks.  Hearings and inquiries generally take longer, but with a smaller number of cases the averages can be misleading.  Full details are on the Planning Inspectorate webpage.

Appeal success rates by Inspector, LPA and development type

The annual success rates for s78 appeals, householder appeals and enforcement appeals for the 2 years ending 31st March 2023 and 31st March 2024 are available for individual Inspectors here and for each Local Planning Authority here.

To find appeals of interest to you, use the search on our Home page.