Appeals: how long they take

Latest average timescales for planning, enforcement and householder appeals.

Applies to England

Cases decided in JulySeptember 2023 – Summary

S78 & Householder appeals

Median (weeks) Mean (weeks) Decisions
s78 planning appeals Written Reps 34 39 797761
s78 planning appeals Hearings 25 5141 4941
s78 planning appeals Inquiries 29*62 36*50 18*33
Householder appeals Written Reps 1917 2220 297398

Enforcement appeals

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

Median (weeks) Mean (weeks) Decisions
Written Reps 5249 5251 184167
Hearings 34*78* 50*85* 11*10*
Inquiries 80*95* 77*102* 13*8*

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 2419 AugustOctober 2023 + show all updates
  1. Cases decided in September 2023 Summary updated

  2. Updated appeal handling time averages for August 2023

  3. July 2023 data added

  4. Tables updated with June 2023 data

  5. May 2023 data added

  6. March 2023 data added

  7. Tables updated with March data

  8. Data updated with cases decided in February 2023

  9. Cases decided in January 2023 updated

  10. The table has been updated today on the number and length of decisions made in December 2022

  11. November 2022 - Decisions summary updated

  12. October 2022 - Decisions summary updated

  13. September 2022 - Decisions summary data added

  14. Updated number and length of decisions made in August 2022

  15. Inquiry appeals submitted after 1 April 2019 removed as no longer correct

  16. Data updated with July 2022 - Decisions summary

  17. June 2022 information on number and length of decisions made

  18. May 2022 data added

  19. Decisions summary updated with April 2022 data

  20. Decisions summary updated with March 2022 data

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

  22. January 2022 data on timeliness

  23. How long appeals take based on December 2021 data

  24. November 2021 figures added

  25. October decisions summary data added

  26. September 2021 data added

  27. August 2021 data added

  28. Tables updated with July data.

  29. Updated appeal timeliness data for June 2021

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

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

  32. March data added to chart

  33. February 2021 - Decisions summary updated

  34. January 2021 - Decisions summary updated

  35. December 2020 - Decisions summary updated

  36. September 2020 data added.

  37. August average performance data added

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

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

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

  41. 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.

  42. Data updated with January 2020 figures

  43. Updated times added

  44. Average timescales updated

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

  46. Average timescales updated

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

  53. Average timescales updated

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  69. pre election advice removed

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  72. Advice on impact of local elections added

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