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This Factsheet is about complaints relating to the Planning and Environment Decisions Wales. It should be read together with our ‘How to Complain‘ webpage, available on the ‘Making A Complaint’ tab.

The Planning and Environment Decisions Wales is an executive agency in the Welsh Government. Its main work is the processing of planning and enforcement appeals and holding examinations of local development plans.

It also deals with a wide variety of other planning related work, including:

  • Listed building consent appeals;
  • Advertisement appeals; and,
  • Reporting on planning applications called in by the Welsh Government.

The Planning and Environment Decisions Wales also deals with environmental appeals and rights of way cases.


What the Ombudsman can do

The Ombudsman can look at complaints about:

  • Poor administration or procedural shortcomings in the Planning and Environment Decisions Wales’ decision making;
  • Shortcomings in the way the Planning and Environment Decisions Wales has dealt with your complaints, for example where it has failed to respond or has not dealt with your complaint within a reasonable time.


What the Ombudsman cannot do

The Ombudsman cannot:

  • Consider the merits of decisions taken by the Planning and Environment Decisions Wales, including its decisions on planning appeals and enforcement appeal decisions, which can only be challenged through the courts.


Issues to bear in mind

Complaints about individual planning decisions made by local Councils in Wales are not matters for the Planning Inspectorate. These complaints should be directed to the Council concerned in the first place and could be a matter for the Ombudsman. For further information, see our Factsheet on Planning Applications. This can be found on our website, given below.


Further information

Further information about the Planning Inspectorate (Wales), including their complaints procedure can be found on its website:

General advice on all aspects of land use planning in Wales is available from Planning Aid Wales. This advice is provided free of charge. Further information can be found on the Planning Aid Wales website:

You do not need to make your complaint to the Ombudsman using a solicitor or any other advocate; his service is free and impartial and we aim to make the process as easy to follow for complainants as possible.

The Ombudsman cannot order public bodies to do what he recommends but, in practice, they almost always do. Examples of cases that the Ombudsman has looked at can be found on our website, under the ‘Publications’ tab on the ‘Our Findings’ & ‘The Ombudsman’s Casebook’ pages.


Contact us

If you are unsure whether the Ombudsman would be able to look into your complaint, please contact us on 0300 790 0203 or

Also available in Welsh.