Procedures for Planning Appeals

January 2024

Any person aggrieved by a decision made by the Development Applications Board (the “Board”) or the Director of Planning may submit an appeal. An appeal can be made against the decision to approve or refuse a planning application or an appeal can request the removal or variation of a condition of a planning permission.

Appealing a Decision of the Development Applications Board

A decision of the Board may be appealed to the Minister responsible for Planning under Section 57 of the Development and Planning Act 1974 and the Development and Planning (Appeals to the Minister) Rules 1974.

Timescale for Submission

Appeals to the Minister must be submitted, in full together with the requisite fees, within 21 days (inclusive of weekends and public holidays) of being notified of the Board’s decision between the hours of 9am and 4:30pm. However, if the 21st day falls on a weekend or public holiday, the Minister must permit the appeal to be lodged on the following business day.

The Minister also has the discretion to extend the time limit for submitting an appeal, however the written approval of the Minister to extend this time limit must be obtained prior to the submission of the appeal and such written approval must be included with the appeal submission. Requests for an extension to the appeal period should be sent via email to Ms. Julie Marshall at jamarshall@gov.bm.

How to Submit

Appeals to the Minister must be submitted electronically via the Department of Planning’s Customer Self Service portal by opening the planning application case, clicking the ‘Sub-Records’ tab (as indicated below) then clicking ‘Apply’ next to the text ‘Planning Application Appeal (Development Appeal)’, as shown to the right. Please note you must have a Customer Self Service account in order to make the appeal.

What Must the Appeal Submission Include?

All relevant fields of the online appeal form must be completed and the following documents must be attached:

Once an appeal has been submitted, it will be assigned an appeal number (APPL number). If the appeal passes vetting, an invoice for the requisite fee of $630 (or $1,292 if the appeal is to be determined via the hearing procedure) will be issued. Fees must be paid at the cashiers located on the ground floor of the Government Administration Building at 30 Parliament Street in the City of Hamilton in accordance with the timescale set out above. Please note that fees are subject to change as per any future amendments to Head 21 of the Government Fee Regulations 1976.

What Happens after the Appeal is Lodged?

1) Once the appeal is submitted and deemed to be complete, the Ministry will acknowledge receipt of the appeal and inform any objectors to the original planning application (or the agent and applicant in respect of a third party appeal) that an appeal has been lodged, who will typically be afforded 10 business days to provide a response. All parties to the appeal, along with the general public, will have access to all information on the appeal case throughout the appeal process via the Department of Planning’s Customer Self Service portal where the progress of the appeal can be viewed.

2) The Director of Planning will also be notified that an appeal has been lodged and will be invited to submit a written response (i.e. the ‘Director’s Case’) within 21 days or an extended time as agreed by the Minister.

3) Once the Director’s case is returned to the Ministry it will be forward to the appellant together with any other representation which may have been received who will be invited to submit a final written response.

4) An independent Planning Inspector will be appointed if requested by the appellant. If the appellant has not made such a request, the Minister may choose whether he wishes to appoint an Inspector. The Planning Inspector will review all relevant information, may conduct a site visit and will prepare a report which will include a recommendation for the Minister’s consideration.

5) If the appeal is to include an inquiry, all parties of the appeal will be notified of the date, time and venue at least 21 days in advance. The process of holding the inquiry is set out under Part III of the Development and Planning (Appeals to the Minister) Rules 1974.

6) The Minister will review all information and may choose to either uphold the decision of the Board and dismiss the appeal or allow the appeal and reverse or vary all or part of the Board’s decision.

7) All parties to the appeal will be notified of the Minister’s decision which, together with all other documentation, will be attached to the electronic appeal file made available to the general public through the Department’s Customer Self Service portal.

Who are the Planning Inspectors?

All Planning Inspectors are independent, overseas, certified professionals with significant planning experience who are appointed by the Minister to provide impartial advice on appeal cases. Such advice is typically provided in the form of an Inspector’s Report, which will form part of the appeal file if an Inspector has been appointed. An Inspector will also be appointed to preside over any inquiry which is deemed to be necessary in the appeal process.

Can the Minister’s Decision be Appealed?

The Minister’s decision can be appealed to the Supreme Court but only on a point of law. Such a challenge must be lodged within 21 days after receiving notification of the Minister’s decision or any other period as the Supreme Court may allow.

Appealing a Decision of the Director of Planning

If the application was determined by the Director of Planning under delegated authority, an appeal can be made to the Board under Section 58A of the Development and Planning Act 1974.

Timescale for Submission

Appeals to the Board must be submitted, in full, within 28 days (inclusive of weekends and public holidays) of being notified of the Director’s decision between the hours of 9am and 4:30pm. However, if the 28th day falls on a weekend or public holiday, the appeal may be lodged on the following business day.

An appeal may only be lodged later than the timescales noted above if an extension to this period has first been agreed, in writing, between the appellant and the Director of Planning and such written agreement is included with the appeal submission. Requests for an extension to the period within which an appeal may be lodged should be sent via email to the attention of the Director of Planning at planningfrontdesk@gov.bm and will typically only be accepted where it can be demonstrated that the usual deadline could not have reasonably been met.

How to Submit

Appeals to the Board must be submitted by email to the Director of Planning at planningfrontdesk@gov.bm.

What Must the Appeal Submission to the Board Include?

An appeal to the Board must include a written statement setting out the grounds of appeal together with any supporting evidence. There is no fee to submit an appeal to the Board.

What Happens after the Appeal is Lodged with the Board?

1) Once the appeal is submitted, the Department of Planning will acknowledge receipt of the appeal and inform any objectors to the original planning application (or the agent and applicant in respect of a third party appeal) that an appeal has been lodged, who will typically be afforded 10 business days to provide a written response. All parties to the appeal, along with the general public, will have access to all information on the appeal case throughout the appeal process via the Department of Planning’s Customer Self Service portal where the progress of the appeal can be viewed.

2) The application, together with all documentation submitted with the appeal, will be presented to the Board who will consider all information. The Board may choose to either uphold the decision of the Director and dismiss the appeal or allow the appeal and reverse or vary all or part of the Director’s decision.

3) All parties to the appeal will be notified of the Board’s decision which, together with the minutes of the meeting, will be attached to the electronic appeal file made available to the general public through the Department’s Customer Self Service portal.

Can the Board’s Appeal Decision be Appealed?

Yes, any decision of the Development Applications Board may be appealed under the provisions set out above.

Letters of objection and/or representation should be emailed to planningfrontdesk@gov.bm referencing the PLAN or SUB number in the subject line.

Dame Lois Browne-Evans Building, 5th Floor, 58 Court Street Hamilton, HM12, Bermuda

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