Appealing Design - Does design quality carry weight in planning appeals?

Tuesday 26 April 2022 - 13:00 to 14:00


Is the planning appeal process giving any weight to design quality, and rejecting applications for poor and mediocre housing development? Surprising answers are contained in Appealing Design, a new study of over 30 planning appeals, to be launched at this event.

For decades local planning authorities up and down the country have been reluctant to refuse poorly designed residential and other developments on design grounds.

Six perceptions have underpinned this reluctance:

  1. Costs will be awarded against the planning authority should it lose the appeal
  2. Design is too subjective to argue easily
  3. Quantity and demonstrated housing land supply is given a greater weight than quality of design
  4. Housebuilders are too formidable to take on.
  5. Negotiating good design with an applicant takes too long and requires too much officer time
  6. Design can be dealt with after the principle of development has been established

Drawing on recent planning appeals data, this new Place Alliance report reveals that none of these perceptions are any longer true (some never were).




1.00 Katja Stille, Urban Design Group (Chair)


1.05 Appealing Design -  Matthew Carmona,The Bartlett, UCL | Chair of the Place Alliance


Joanna Averley, Chief Planner, DLUCH

David Morgan, Professional Lead for Planning Appeals, Planning Inspectorate

Justin Webber, Senior Building Conservation Officer, Leicester City Council

Tim Crawshaw, President, Royal Town Planning Institute

1.45 Q+A 

Civic Voice Design Awards announcement - Sarah James, Civic Voice

2.00 CLOSE 

Appealing Design is supported and endorsed by Civic Voice, the RTPI, the Urban Design Group and Urban Design Learning.