REALWorld Law

Planning / zoning

Rights of appeal

Is there a right of appeal against a relevant authority's decision in respect of an application for permission for development or the carrying on of a designated use?

Angola

Angola

Yes. There is a right of appeal against a relevant authority's decision in respect of an application for permission for development or the carrying on of a designated use (for example, in case of refusal). Broadly speaking, all administrative acts may be challenged before the courts. In some cases, the right of appeal to the courts requires prior administrative appeal.

Australia

Australia

In most cases there is a right of appeal against the relevant authority's decision; that is, a right of appeal on the merits against a refusal or against the imposition of conditions which are regarded as unreasonable or inappropriate.

Belgium

Belgium

Each of the following three regions allow for the ability for a party to appeal against a decision.

In the Flemish Region, in the integrated permit procedure, permits can be delivered by the municipal council, the Deputation of the Province of the Flemish Government. The possibilities of appeal change as following:

  • An administrative appeal against a decision of the municipal council can be submitted to the Deputation of the Province within 30 days after notification of the decision. An appeal in annulation (and/or suspension) against the decision of the Deputation of the Province can be submitted with the Council for Permit Disputes within 45 days of notification of the permit
  • An administrative appeal against a decision of the Deputation of the Province can be submitted to the Flemish Government within 30 days after notification of the decision. An appeal in annulation (and/or suspension) against the decision of the Flemish Government can be submitted with the Council for Permit Disputes within 45 days of notification of the permit, and
  • Against a decision of the Flemish Government, only an appeal in annulation (and/or suspension) is possible, submitted with the Council for Permit Disputes within 45 days of notification of the permit

The legal effect of an annulment of the Council for Permit Disputes is that the relevant decision is considered to have never existed in law. The legal effect of a suspension of a permit decision, is that this decision has no legal effect, for as long as it is suspended. The Council for Permit Disputes decides on the suspension procedure before it decides on the annulation procedure.

In the Brussels Capital Region, the Brussels Code regarding public planning of 9 April 2004 provides that the decision regarding a building permit is generally made by the municipal council (in some exceptional cases by the regional authorized public planning officer). The applicant can file an appeal against the decision with the ‘Public Planning College’, to be submitted within 30 days after the day on which the decision is received. This college has the ability to investigate the application on its legal and factual merits. After the decision, the applicant can only file a request for annulment with the Council of State, concerning the application of the law. However, the municipal council and the Regional Public Planning Officer can file an appeal with the Minister of Public Planning, after a decision of the Public Planning College. Against this decision, an appeal in (suspension and) annulation with the Council of State remains possible.

In the Walloon Region, the Code for Territorial Development provides that the decision regarding a building permit is again made in most cases by the municipal council (in some exceptional cases by the regional authorized public planning officer). The applicant (or the municipal council in the case of a decision of the regional authorized public planning officer) can file an appeal against the decision with the Walloon Minister of Public Planning. Against this decision, an appeal in (suspension and) annulation can be filed with the Council of State.

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Decisions are publicized and can be appealed against by any person within eight, or at the latest, fifteen days from the date of publication. However, these appeals are rarely decisive in respect of the overall process.

Canada

Canada

Applicants typically have the right to seek judicial or administrative review of a denial of an application or against imposed conditions in the case of an approval. In some circumstances, certain third parties have the right to appeal a decision to approve an application.

China

China

If the decision is an administrative decision, there is a right to apply for administrative review of the relevant authority's decision to refuse the permits within 60 days of the refusal. Depending on the level of authority making the decision, the application for administrative review is made to the appropriate local department, details of which are set out in Articles 12 to 15 of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Administrative Review.

If applicants are still unhappy with the decision of the review, they may appeal to a people's court equipped with the facilities of an administrative adjudication division.

Croatia

Croatia

An appeal may be submitted against the building permit. A party may file an administrative action with the Administrative Court against a decision made in the appeal process.

Czech Republic

Czech Republic

There is a right of appeal against a relevant authority's decision to refuse planning regarding permission for development or the carrying on of a designated use. The appeal may be made by a person with an interest within 15 days of the notification of the decision and is decided on by a superior administrative body (except in cases where the process of reconsideration is dealt with by the relevant building authority which issued the decision and which may cancel or revoke its own decision). There is no third party right of appeal against the grant of planning permission, but third parties may bring judicial review proceedings if they can show that the decision may have been made unlawfully.

Denmark

Denmark

An objection to a building permit issued under the Building Act can be brought to the state authorities (Byggeklageenheden (the building appeal unit)) who can only review the permission regarding legal matters, such as compliance with the provisions in the Building Act or compliance with administrative law.

An objection to a building permit issued under the Building Act or a planning permission can be brought to Planklagenaevnet if it concerns matters in a local plan or a dispensation from a local plan. Such objections are also restricted to legal matters, including compliance with the local plan.

Objections to planning permissions in rural zone areas (rural areas which are not classified as city zones or zones where most of the houses are holiday homes) where there is no local plan can be brought to Planklagenaevnet without being restricted to legal matters.

France

France

There is a right of appeal against a relevant authority's decision to refuse planning permission. During a period of two months from the receipt of the refusal, the applicant may apply to the mayor to withdraw it and/or request the court to cancel it.

Germany

Germany

Legal action can be commenced against a relevant authority's decision to refuse planning permission. Third parties can commence proceedings against the grant of a building permit if they can prove that the decision may have been unlawful, i.e. that rules designed to protect the objector have been infringed.

Hong Kong, SAR

Hong Kong, SAR

There is only a right of review and appeal against a relevant authority’s decision to refuse permission for development or the carrying on of a designated use for section 16 Applications for permission for a use that is set out in the relevant statutory plan as requiring permission from the Town Planning Board and section 16A Applications for amendments to the use granted under a section 16 Application. A review can be requested in writing by the applicant within 21 days of being notified of the decision and it will be decided on by the Appeal Board constituted under the TPO. If the decision of the review is still unsatisfactory, an appeal can be made by the applicant within 60 days of being notified of the decision of the review. The decision of the appeal is final but judicial review proceedings may be brought if it can be shown that the decision may have been made unlawfully.

There is no right of review and appeal for section 12A applications for permission for a use that is not mentioned in the relevant plan.

Hungary

Hungary

No, the building permitting procedure is one-instance procedure (ie right of appeal against the relevant building authority’s decision is not available); however, the decision of the building authority can be challenged before an administrative court.

Ireland

Ireland

Yes, there is a right of appeal, in respect of decisions of planning authorities, but not of An Bord Pleanála when acting as the tribunal of first instance in relation to strategic planning decisions.

A locus standi (sufficient standing/interest) requirement for bringing an appeal was introduced under the 2000 Act. The right of appeal is now confined to the applicant for planning permission and to any person who had made submissions or observations in writing to the planning authority in relation to the planning permission.

A party who did not participate at the planning authority stage of the decision-making will not normally be allowed to make an appeal. Three exceptions are:

  • people with an interest in adjoining lands;
  • non-governmental organisations, in the case of an environmental impact assessment; and
  • development project appeals and prescribed bodies not property notified.

An Bord Pleanála is under a duty to determine any appeal within 18 weeks of it being lodged. An Bord Pleanála will reject all claims that are deemed vexatious, frivolous or without substance or foundation or claims that are made with the sole intention of delaying the development or the intention of securing the payment of money, gifts, consideration or other inducement by any person.

There is a four-week time limit on the bringing of an appeal.

Italy

Italy

There is a right of appeal against a relevant authority's, usually the municipality's decision to refuse planning permission. The appeal is filed with a petition to the Regional Administrative Tribunal in order to set aside the order issued by the municipality. The unfavourable ruling of the Administrative Tribunal can be appealed before the Council of State, which is the supreme court for administrative matters. In general third parties that are affected by the application or permission also have a right to appeal.

Japan

Japan

Yes. There is a right of appeal against the relevant local government's decision in respect of a construction permit. For example, under the BSA, if an applicant has an objection to a rejection of the application, the applicant can appeal to the construction examination committee. If a decision by the committee is still not acceptable to the applicant, it is possible to appeal to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT).

Regardless of whether recourse based on this process has been exhausted, the applicant can bring an action to the court

Netherlands

Netherlands

Zoning plan

In the first steps of the process to adapt a zoning plan stakeholders may issue views on the intended zoning plan by submitting an opinion within the six weeks after the draft zoning plan is published. In principle, there an appellant cannot appeal the final decision, if he did not submit views (unless he could not reasonably be expected to submit views).

After the decision is made, stakeholders who have issued views with a particular interest may appeal to the municipality’s decision at the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State within six weeks. Limited provisional recourse is available.

Permits

Stakeholders have recourse against permit decisions. Whether this recourse is available, what type of recourse if available and under which conditions the recourse is available depends on the specific permit and procedure and the appellant's qualification as a stakeholder. In general, for ‘simple’ procedure decisions an administrative reconsideration precedes appeals phase while otherwise, direct appeal following adoption of the decision is available — again subject to whether the appellant has submitted views and otherwise meets the statutory requirements for lodging an appeal.

Nigeria

Nigeria

In Nigeria, the regimes regulating matters of physical planning provides for the establishment of Appeals Tribunal in the case of the Federal Act and an Appeals Committee under the Lagos State Physical Planning Law. The laws allow an aggrieved person the right of review of the decision of the relevant Control Department or Planning Permit Authority.

An aggrieved person also has a right to approach the high court of the relevant state or the Federal Capital Territory to seek redress against the decision of the Planning permit Authority or the Appeals Tribunal/Committee.

Norway

Norway

It is possible to appeal an initial decision to the original decision maker itself. If the appeal is not upheld, it is automatically sent to a superior authority, usually the County governor.

When the appeal has been finally determined by the superior authority, there is only a limited possibility of bringing the case before the Parliamentary Ombudsman (Sivilombudsmannen)or the civil courts.

Poland

Poland

Under Polish law there is a right of appeal for the applicant for the permit or a third party demonstrating a legal interest against a competent public authority’s decision to refuse planning permission or a building permit.

The applicant may appeal to a higher level authority within 14 days against any decisions issued by a competent first tier authority.

In case of upholding the decision by higher level authority, the applicant have the right to file a complaint against upholding decision to the administrative court, generally within 30 days, however this time may be modified by the specific regulations.

Portugal

Portugal

Broadly speaking, all administrative acts, including licences, authorisations and admissions of advance notices, are likely to be challenged before the administrative courts.

Romania

Romania

According to the Law 50/1991 regarding construction works, any interested person may file with the administrative courts of law a claim in order to challenge a building permit or the administrative decision of rejecting the application for a building permit.

Nonetheless, before going to court, a preliminary administrative procedure needs to be followed. Hence, within 30 days from the building permit or, as the case may be, the administrative decision being made available to the public, the interested persons apply to the competent authority to revoke the said administrative acts. Only if the competent authority does not issue a favourable resolution, may the interested persons file a claim with the administrative courts of law.

An interested person may be a person whose application for a building permit was rejected, as well as any other person who may claim an interest (including the prefect of the relevant county).

Slovak Republic

Slovak Republic

Yes, the participants may appeal against the decision of the building office within a 15-day period starting on the day of the decision notification. The parties may also raise a claim at the regional court in district of which the respective building office has its seat.

Spain

Spain

In principle, planning decisions may always be challenged in court by any third party through a general public action governed by the Consolidated Text of the National Land Law.

Sweden

Sweden

Yes, there is in general a right of appeal against the decision of any authority in respect of an application for permission for development or the carrying out of a new designated use. An appeal is normally lodged at the relevant County Administrative Board (Länsstyrelsen) and may later be subject to further appeal in the Land and Environment Court (Mark- och miljödomstolen), the Land and Environment Court of Appeal (Mark- och miljööverdomstolen) and the Supreme Administrative Court (Högsta domstolen).

Thailand

Thailand

Yes, the applicant can appeal to the Appeal Committee within 30 days from the refusal and if the applicant does not agree with the decision of the committee, the applicant shall file action to a Thai court within 30 days from such decision.

United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi

United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi

There is no formal right of appeal. In practice, another application will be submitted.

United Arab Emirates - Dubai

United Arab Emirates - Dubai

There is not a formal process to appeal the decision of any relevant authority.

UK - England and Wales UK - England and Wales

UK - England and Wales

The applicant has a right of appeal against a relevant authority's decision to refuse planning permission, or the failure of the authority to reach a decision within the relevant timescales. The appeal is made to an independent inspector (from a body called the Planning Inspectorate in England and Planning and Environment Decisions Wales in Wales) appointed by the Secretary of State (ie a senior member of the Government, a politician appointed by the Prime Minister) or the Welsh Ministers.

There is no third party right of appeal against the grant of planning permission but third parties may bring judicial review proceedings in the High Court if they can show that the decision of the relevant authority may have been made unlawfully.

UK - Scotland

UK - Scotland

There is a right of appeal against a relevant authority's decision to refuse planning permission or against the conditions imposed on a grant of planning permission. The appeal rights vary depending on where the application fits in the development hierarchy. For applications classed as local development which have been delegated for determination by officers, the applicant may request a review of the case by a local review body made up of members of the planning committee. For all other classifications of development, there is a right of appeal to Scottish Ministers. Most appeals which are handled by Scottish Ministers are delegated for determination to members of the Scottish Government's Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA), known as 'reporters'.

There is no third party right of appeal against the grant of planning permission but third parties may bring judicial review proceedings if they can show that the decision may have been made unlawfully.

Ukraine

Ukraine

Under Ukrainian law the decision of a relevant authority in respect of an application for permission for development could be disputed in a court. Besides this, some decisions can be appealed to the higher-level state bodies.

United States

United States

Depending upon the type of decision at issue, decisions may be subject to judicial or administrative review.

Applicants typically have the right to seek review/appeal of a denial. In order for third parties to seek review, they must allege an injury unique to them as opposed to one affecting the general population (they must have what is known as (“standing”), such as an injury arising from residing/ owning property near  the subject property.

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

An individual can appeal to the Administrative Court within one month after they have received a notification of refusal from the local authorities concerning permission for development. This is in line with section 38 of the Regional Town and Country Planning Act [Chapter 29.12].