Appeals Performance April 2020 to end of March 2023, appeals lodged in March & decisions received in March 2024




1.         In 2013 the Government published “Improving Planning Performance – Criteria for Designation”[1] which was last updated in October 2022. It sets out the Government’s criteria for assessing Local Planning Authority (LPA) performance on the speed and quality of application decisions for major and non-major development (i.e., Minor and Other applications).

2.         The purpose of the criteria is to contribute to the government’s objectives of boosting the supply of housing and economic growth. The performance of LPAs in determining planning applications in a timely fashion is crucial to deliver these objectives.

3.         The consequence of underperformance is the potential ‘designation’ of the LPA by the Secretary of State, where applicants have the option of submitting their application for major and non-major development (and connected applications[2]) directly to the Planning Inspectorate (PINs) for determination. Although the application fee goes to the PINs, the LPA continue to process the application.

4.         The quality of decision making by LPAs is measured by the proportion of decisions on applications that are subsequently overturned at appeal.

5.         As Members are aware, last year the LPA’s performance in respect of the speed of determining planning applications fell short of the target and as a result the Secretary of State considered whether it should be designated. Through a concerted effort to improve performance by officers and a review of ways of working assisted by the Planning Advisory Service (PAS), this threat was avoided.

6.         One of the improvements identified by PAS was to ensure that the Planning Committee are fully aware of the speed and quality of decision making as they are an important contributor. This report deals solely with the quality of decision making and will be reported from here on monthly, whereas the speed of decision making will be reported quarterly.


7.         The council’s performance for the period April 2020 to March 2022 and April 2021 to March 2023 are shown in Table 1 below. This is the latest published data by the Government. For the period April 2022 to March 2024, there is no officially published data as yet, as decisions refused by the council in March 2024 can be appealed up to 6 months after the date of the refusal. In addition, there is no published threshold for this period.

Table 1 below sets out the Government published threshold, assessment periods and our performance.

Measure/type of Application

Threshold and assessment period April 2020 to March 2022

Vale of White Horse District Council performance April 2020 to March 2022 (lower = better)

Threshold and assessment period April 2021 to March 2023

Vale of White Horse District Council performance April 2021 to March 2023 (lower = better)

Quality of Major development









Quality of non-major development (i.e., Minors and Others)










8.      As Table 1 above shows, for the assessment periods 2020-2022 and 2021 to 2023 the LPA’s quality performance figures in relation to both major and non-major decisions have been significantly below the 10% threshold, which is good.






Description of development

Council Decision

Appeal Start Date and type

Reference (link)



Hill House, Abingdon

Replace existing boundary fence

Delegated Refusal

12 March 2024

Householder Fastrack





2, 2A, 6, 6A High Street, Steventon

Retention of the single storey barn, demolition of other existing buildings, and mixed use redevelopment comprise erection of a 3-storey building to the rear, a 2.5 storey building fronting the High Street and a single storey extension to the barn to provide no.13 x residential units (Class C3) and no.2 x Commercial, Business and Service (Use Class E) units, ancillary floorspace, car parking, cycle parking, landscaping, refuse and recycling storage and associated works


Refusal - Committee Overturn

12 March 2024

Written Representations



Kingston Bagpuize

6 Buchan Place, Kingston Bagpuize

New two-storey side extension incorporating garage at ground floor and bedroom with en-suite at first floor. New single storey rear conservatory with 'Lantern' Roof. Construction of an indoor swimming pool, plant room and 'Chilling Area'. Demolition of existing garage

Delegated Refusal

13 March 2024

Householder Fastrack








Description of development

Officer Recommendation

Council Decision

Appeal Decision & Date

Reference (link)


31 and 33 Denchworth Road, Wantage


Form a dropped kerb and build a driveway at the front

of both properties

Delegated Refusal



4 March 2024


East Hagbourne

Horse and Harrow, East Hagbourne


Change of use of land (currently Sui Generis) to provide additional residential garden space (Use Class C3), associated with planning application (ref no. P22/S3609/FUL) submitted to South Oxfordshire District Council

Delegated Refusal



14 March 2024







[2] Excluding householder and retrospective applications which the Government considers are best dealt with locally.

[3] A related application in SODC P22/S3609/FUL for the change of use of existing public house (Sui Generis) to provide a three-bed dwelling and a four-bed dwelling (Use C3), erection of a three-bed and two four-bed dwellings (Use C3) on land adjacent to the public house accessed from Main Street, with associated parking and landscaping, along with the demolition of existing outbuilding was allowed.