REALWorld Law

Planning / zoning

Third party objections

In relation to official permissions for the development or carrying on a designated use of real estate, do third parties have the right to object?

Angola

Angola

Under Angolan law building and use permits can be challenged by third parties (such as neighbours) that hold a direct or personal interest or, irrespective of having a personal interest, acting for the protection of land planning values.

Australia

Australia

In many cases third parties do have a right to object. For example, in Victoria there is a requirement that notice be given except where the local authority forms the view that such notice is not necessary. In some states notice may be required for particular types of development listed in Schedules or otherwise identified by reference to the planning controls.

Belgium

Belgium

Third parties have the right to object where regional legislation provides that a ‘public consultation’ has to be held for certain permit applications. In such situations, public consultation is not mandatory – there is no right as such to object. However, it is possible to file an informal objection with the relevant authority, that might have an impact on the decision process.

In the Flemish Region, the Flemish Government specified the applications which require a public consultation (those applications which required the 'common procedure'). Public consultations are always mandatory when they require an Environmental Impact Assessment. The issue of Environmental Impact Assessments and the scope of their application was a hot topic of discussion, after the European Court of Justice stated in a Judgement of 24 March 2011 that Flemish (and Brussels and Walloon) EIA legislation is not in compliance with EU law. By the Decree of 23 March 2012 the Flemish region adapted its EIA regulation to comply with the judgement. From now on, smaller-scale projects that previously were excluded from the EIA requirement, will be screened for the need for a full EIA. This means that currently, there are EIA-mandatory projects, EIA-exempt projects and projects requiring screening in the Flemish Region.

The public consultation lasts for 30 days.

In the Brussels Capital Region, the Brussels Code regarding public planning of 9 April 2004 differs from the Flemish regime of public consultation. The consultation period must last for a minimum of 15 days. The Brussels Code regarding public planning states that the municipal council has the power to organize a public consultation regarding special use designation plans and municipal development plans. In the case of regional use designation plans or regional development plans, the Brussels Government has power to organize a public consultation. The competent authority is free to decide on the start and end dates for the consultation. For special use designation plans, the consultation period is 30 days. For municipal development plans, a longer consultation period of 45 days applies. The consultation period for regional use designation plans and regional development plans is 60 days.

In the Walloon Region the Code for Territorial Development provides a similar legal regime to that of the Flemish Decree. The Code states that the Walloon Government must regulate, by Executive Decree, those permit applications which require mandatory public consultation. Amongst others, the following permit applications require public consultation:

  • Construction or reconstruction of buildings of at least six floors
  • The construction of shops
  • Storage rooms with a net area of more than 400 m²

The duration of a public consultation in the Walloon Region is 15 days.

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Yes. Local authorities must put the proposal for the construction of the building forward for a local public debate. However, the outcome of this debate is unlikely to be decisive as to whether or not permission will be granted.

Canada

Canada

In some cases third parties do have a right to object. For example, in some provinces it is a requirement for particular types of development that notice of the proposed permit or approval be given.

If a public hearing is required in respect of the development, members of the general public have the right to voice objections to development proposals at public hearings. In some circumstances, certain third parties may have the additional right to appeal the grant of approval.

China

China

Third parties generally do not have the right to object to official permissions for the development or carrying on of a designated use of real estate. If the land where development is to take place currently has residents on it, the government will have to requisition the buildings and compensate the residents under law. If this is the case, the residents may be able to indirectly object to the development by applying for an administrative review of or filing an administrative lawsuit against the decision to requisition the building.

Croatia

Croatia

Third parties are either:

  • The owner of the real estate (if the investor is not the owner)
  • The holders of any property rights in the subject real estate
  • The owner or holders of any property rights over neighbouring real estate

Third parties are invited to a public enquiry regarding the main project for the issue of a location building permit. The third parties have the right to object.

Czech Republic

Czech Republic

Third parties may object in one of several different ways, depending on their standing in the proceedings. Relevant authorities (eg environmental authorities) may object to a proposal by making binding assessments. A participant (eg the municipality in whose territory the project is planned, or a person owning adjacent land) may file an objection, and the public (eg the inhabitants of the municipality) may make comments on the proposals. In addition, participants may appeal against the building authority's decision.

Denmark

Denmark

A very wide range of neighbours and organizations have the right to appeal planning decisions to Planklagenaevnet, a state administrative board.

Building permits can be appealed by parties concerned (i.e. neighbours) to Byggeklageenheden, a state administrative board.

France

France

Planning permissions can be challenged by third parties (such as neighbours) within two months from the publication of a notice of the issue of the permission on site, provided they can evidence an interest to act.

Such challenge can take place in front of either the administrative authority who issued the decision (recours gracieux) or the administrative courts (tribunaux administratifs).

Germany

Germany

Third parties may take legal action against the grant of permission, but will only succeed if they can prove that the permission constitutes a breach of statutory provisions which have been enacted with the sole intent of protecting the appellant's rights. This includes any legislation protecting third parties (neighbours), eg provisions regarding the distance to be kept from property boundaries (Abstandsflächen).

Hong Kong, SAR

Hong Kong, SAR

Third parties may object to a proposal during the application stage and their comments should be fairly considered by the Town Planning Board. If a review is sought on an initial decision, third parties may also object during this review stage as all submitted documents will be made public as well. Third parties cannot appeal against the grant of planning permission but can, instead, challenge a decision by way of judicial review in the High Court if they can show that the decision may have been made unlawfully.

Hungary

Hungary

Building permits may be challenged by third parties who took part in the building permit proceedings as clients. The building authority invites those stakeholders to participate in the building permit proceedings whose rights or legal interest are directly affected by the permit.

Generally, the following stakeholders are invited as to participate as clients:

(a) owners of the plot on which the construction is planned;

(b) third parties who hold a registered right over the plot on which the construction is planned (eg easement right holders); and

(c) owners of plots adjacent to the plot on which the construction is planned.

In the case of industrial or large-scale developments a wider range of stakeholders may be invited as clients, such as NGOs, environmental protection associations or owners of property located within a given radius of the planned development.

Ireland

Ireland

Any person or body may make submissions or observations in writing to a planning authority on a particular application.

Third parties have the right to object to any proposed development by making submissions or observations in writing to their local planning authority. These submissions or observations must be made within five weeks of the date a planning application is received by the planning authority.

The third party must state in full the reasons, considerations and arguments on which the submission or observation is based, and the submission must be accompanied by the relevant fee.

The third party should demonstrate how the proposed development complies, or fails to comply, with key planning, urban design, environmental and architectural policies of the development plan of that area. Further, the third party should be able to support these observations with relevant planning evidence drawn from the planning application.

Italy

Italy

Third parties can object to (the intention to grant) permission and can appeal to the court (Regional Administrative Tribunal - TAR) against the decision of the municipality to reject their objection(s) against a granted or refused permission, provided that they give evidence of an actual and specific interest.

Japan

Japan

Third parties are, if they have ‘legal interest’, entitled to object to a construction permit or any decision relating to it by the relevant local government and can appeal to the court to dismiss any construction permit or decision.  However, such legal interest is interpreted very strictly.

Netherlands

Netherlands

Depending on the type of procedure followed, stakeholders have legal recourse against permitting decisions (including refusals) and may eg among other actions demand enforcement in case zoning law violations are observed. The exact type of recourse may vary depending on the decision involved and may include administrative objections preceding judicial appeals or submitting views and subsequent appeals.

Nigeria

Nigeria

Third parties whose civil and property rights are adversely affected by a building development may object or appeal to the relevant state authority. By Section 15 of the Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Act, 1992 and Sections 8 and 16 of the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development (Amendment) Law 2019, any member of the public, any tier of government, non-governmental organizations and professional bodies can submit written objections against a development plan. Section 33 of the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development (Amendment) Law 2019 provides that the Planning Permit Authority may consider representation made to it by a person, body or organization to be affected by an intended development.

There is the Physical Planning and Building Control Agency Appeals Committee (Lagos State) and an Urban and Regional Planning Tribunal (Federal) which functions includes consideration of appeals from members of the public, investigation of complaints on matters relating to grant of planning permit and hearing of appeals from decisions made by the Control Department.

Norway

Norway

Before an application is made, the neighbours must be notified and given the opportunity to raise their objections to the project.

Those who are deemed to have a sufficiently close connection to the project, in reality all who are directly affected by it, have the right to submit a complaint following the issue of a permit. The complaint is sent firstly to the authority who issued the permit which has the power to reverse the decision if the complaint is found to be justified.

If the action is not successful in the first instance, the complaint shall be sent to the local Standing Committee on Urban Development (for the relevant municipality) or to the County governor for a final decision. In exceptional cases, the Ministry of Local Government and Modernization can review the local building authority’s decision or the County governor‘s decision.

Poland

Poland

A third party demonstrating a legal interest may object to a permission for development and a construction permit, provided that third party shows that the decision may have been made unlawfully. There is no statutory definition of a 'legal interest'. In this situation, we can say that there is a legal interest where there is a legal relationship between the real estate and the rights of the relevant third party.

Portugal

Portugal

Yes, a third party who claims to hold a direct or personal interest or, irrespective of having a personal interest, anyone acting for the protection of the environment, the land use planning and town planning and also any voter exercising his/her civil and political rights in the event of deliberations of the local authority bodies where he/she is registered.

The Public Prosecutor Service may also raise objections.

Romania

Romania

According to the applicable legislation, the public should be involved in all steps of the decisional process regarding the urban planning and designed use of the territory. The public's participation in the decisional process involves its right to have access to information, its right to be consulted and its right of free access to justice on urban planning and designed use of territory issues during the setting-up and approval of the public strategies and the corresponding documentation.

Any interested third party may file with the relevant authority opinions and objections to a proposed urban planning and/or designated use for a specific area. Should the authorities not consider the objections raised during the decisional process, the interested third parties may file a court action to challenge the administrative act issued by the authorities.

Slovak Republic

Slovak Republic

Third parties may raise objections to the proposal in the proceeding, but not later than by the time that an oral hearing (the happening of which is at the discretion of the relevant building office) takes place, or in the time period stipulated by the building office.

The building office may stop the hearing if, for the area in question, zoning documentation has been produced which can be used as the basis for the assessment required for the issuance of a zoning permit. If the building office stops the hearing, it will determine the period lasting at least seven working days, during which participants (including third parties) may raise their objections and shall warn them that objections made after the lapse of the stated time period will not be taken into account.

The building office will assess and consider the objections to the building permit.

Spain

Spain

The administrative procedures established by the applicable regulations for the granting of activity permits comprise a public information period in which a third party affected by the execution of the relevant project can lodge an objection.

Where the development of a plot of land requires a prior planning approval (eg a partial plan or special plan), a public information period is established by law, during which any third party can object.

In Spain, the right of action to ensure compliance with planning/zoning law is a public right, and so anyone can object to a development if it affects the public interest, it contravenes the law or it affects the environment.

Sweden

Sweden

Third parties may object to a proposal depending on whether they are deemed to be an affected party or not. To be an affected party one must normally occupy adjacent property or property which is immediately affected by the permit. Certain authorities and/or interest groups may also be entitled to object to the proposal in certain cases, for instance if the property is located in an area of environmental or cultural interest. The right of a third party to object to a permit is generally limited to a time frame specified by the municipality dealing with the application.

Thailand

Thailand

Yes, the third parties who may be damaged or affected by the new development have the right to object to the permission.

United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi

United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi

There is no formal objection process to challenge a planning decision made by the DUPM or municipalities. Generally, there are no formal consultation processes involving third parties.

United Arab Emirates - Dubai

United Arab Emirates - Dubai

There is not any formal objection process to challenge a planning decision made by Dubai Municipality or municipalities. Generally, there are no formal consultation processes involving third parties.

UK - England and Wales UK - England and Wales

UK - England and Wales

Third parties may object to a proposal during the application stage and their comments should be fairly considered by the decision maker. Third parties cannot appeal against the grant of planning permission but can submit comments to be taken into account by the decision maker for the appeal. They can also challenge a decision on an application or appeal by way of judicial or statutory review in the High Court if they can show that the decision may have been made unlawfully.

UK - Scotland

UK - Scotland

Third parties may object to a proposal. There is a procedural requirement to hold a hearing (which objectors have a right to attend) where an application is for national development or major development which would involve a significant departure from the development plan. Third parties cannot appeal against the grant of consent. A decision can, however, be challenged by way of judicial review by a third party if they can show that the decision may have been made unlawfully.

Ukraine

Ukraine

Third parties are entitled to object if their rights might be violated during the process of construction, reconstruction or capital repair, for example in cases of ecological danger in connection with the building to be constructed. Ukrainian legislation provides that principal town planning documentation at a local level (the General Plan of Settlement, a Detailed Plan of Territories and a Plan for the Zoning of Territories), as well as major amendments to such documentation should be the subject of public hearings.

United States

United States

Members of the general public have the right to (and quite often do)  voice objections to development proposals at public hearings. Third parties that can show a unique injury, such as nearby residents or property owners, may have the additional right to appeal the grant of consent, including by seeking judicial review.

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

Third parties do have the right to object by submitting their statement to the decision maker, who will review them before making a final decision. In the event that third parties believe they have been treated unfairly, they can appeal to the Administrative Court.