Appeals: how long they take

Latest average timescales for planning, enforcement and householder appeals.

Applies to England

MarchApril 2022 - Decisions summary

S78 & Householder appeals

Mean (weeks) Median (weeks) Decisions (cases)
s78 planning appeals Written Reps 30 2829 846521
s78 planning appeals Hearings 5363 4953 3633
Inquiry appeals submitted after 1 April 2019        
s78 planning appeals Inquiries 3635 2834 2515
Householder appeals Written Reps 18 15 589348

Enforcement appeals

Includes s174 enforcement appeals, s39 enforcement listed building appeals and lawful development certificate appeals

Mean (weeks) Median (weeks) Decisions (cases)
Written Reps 5544 4237 223102
Hearings*Hearings 65112 63119 1131
Inquiries*Inquiries 86 5849 1712

Mean Average - The total time taken divided by the number of cases. Also referred to as the ‘average’. A measure of how long each case would take, if the total time taken was spread evenly across all cases.

Median - The middle value, if the times are sorted. This means that half the cases take less then this time; and half the cases take more.

Decisions – number of decisions made.

Please note that the times given here are measured from the time an appeal which we are able to progress (‘valid’) to the time a decision is issued.

The smaller the number of decisions, the less helpful the mean and median are as measures for summarising performance. Particular care should be taken when there are fewer than twenty decisions. These are represented with an * in the table, but have been provided for completeness and transparency.

Each of the measures give a slightly different view of the average time taken to make a decision, both are provided because neither gives a perfect indication of the average. The mean is potentially affected by a small number of cases taking a long time – and this gives an over-estimate. The median is less affected by these few longer cases so may give a more helpful indication of the average.

The mean was published previously so we are publishing it to allow users to compare current with previous data.

In making use of the data provided, users are reminded that some decisions made in the latest month were on cases submitted a years or more before – as such, while they are the most recent snapshot available, they should not be relied on to give a reliable indication of what will happen to a case submitted recently or in the future.

We are reviewing our published information in order to make it more useful and accessible to users – please get in touch with us at if you have suggestions on how we could improve the information we provide to you.

Published 1 January 2014
Last updated 2119 AprilMay 2022 + show all updates
  1. Decisions summary updated with April 2022 data

  2. Decisions summary updated with March 2022 data

  3. Updated with number and length of decisions made in February 2022

  4. January 2022 data on timeliness

  5. How long appeals take based on December 2021 data

  6. November 2021 figures added

  7. October decisions summary data added

  8. September 2021 data added

  9. August 2021 data added

  10. Tables updated with July data.

  11. Updated appeal timeliness data for June 2021

  12. May 2021 data on how long decisions are taking.

  13. April 2021 data added to show how long an appeal has taken.

  14. March data added to chart

  15. February 2021 - Decisions summary updated

  16. January 2021 - Decisions summary updated

  17. December 2020 - Decisions summary updated

  18. September 2020 data added.

  19. August average performance data added

  20. Corona virus information removed and July 2020 - Decisions summary added.

  21. Message regarding the impact of Covid-19 on our average timescales.

  22. The average timescales have been removed as we have postponed site visits, Hearings and Inquiries.

  23. To help delay the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) we are following Government advice on social distancing and avoiding non-essential travel. This has meant it necessary to postpone site visits, Hearings and Inquiries which has affected the time it is taking to deal with some appeals. We are looking ways to mitigate this by using technology and other ways to process appeals without risking the wellbeing of appellants, parties to an appeal and our staff. We apologise for the inconvenience this causes.

  24. Data updated with January 2020 figures

  25. Updated times added

  26. Average timescales updated

  27. Added a link to the Inspectorate's news item on Approach to casework during the pre-election period

  28. Average timescales updated

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  34. Updated the first section with a comment realating to the time taken to decide apeals

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  36. Latest appeal timescales

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  47. Updated data on appeal handling times

  48. indicative times updated

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  50. Monthly figures updated

  51. pre election advice removed

  52. Monthly stats updated

  53. Monthly Figures updated

  54. Advice on impact of local elections added

  55. Monthly figures updated

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  57. The monthly figures and the way they are set out have been updated

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  63. First published.