Planning Inspectorate appeal decision times improve

An additional 67 new planners have helped the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) halve the backlog of appeal cases since the start of the year, new figures show.

The findings of PINS’ latest performance update for England and Wales, published earlier this week, show that planning appeal decision times were significantly reduced in the most recent quarter.

Around 3,700 appeal decisions were issued between July and September, compared with 3,437 appeals decided by PINS between April and June, the inspectorate said, with 42% of written representation appeals decided within 18 weeks in September, compared to 12% in October 2018. 

This is because the new recruits have allowed more experienced inspectors to concentrate on the older, more complex appeals that were stuck in the pipeline, it said.

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Town and Country Planning Act 1990

In force/
Current
Legislation
England, Wales
Published
03 Mar 2016

Commentary

07/07/2015 Amending Act (Planning (Wales) Act 2015) published., 27/10/2015 Amending Order (WSI 2015/1794) published., 22/02/2016 Amending Regulations (WSI 2016/53) published, in relation to Wales only., 27/04/2017 Amending Act (Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017) published.
02/11/2017 Amending Regulations (SI 2017/1012) published., 28/11/2018 Amending Regulations (SI 2018/1232) published.

Compliance Dates

24/05/1990 Received Royal Assent

Characteristics

Subject

Land and development

Source

OPSI (Office of Public Sector Information)

Affected Sectors

Mining and Quarrying Construction
ECM

Town and Country Planning Act 1990

Document Status: In force/Current

Scope: England, Wales

Commentary:

07/07/2015 Amending Act (Planning (Wales) Act 2015) published., 27/10/2015 Amending Order (WSI 2015/1794) published., 22/02/2016 Amending Regulations (WSI 2016/53) published, in relation to Wales only., 27/04/2017 Amending Act (Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017) published.
02/11/2017 Amending Regulations (SI 2017/1012) published., 28/11/2018 Amending Regulations (SI 2018/1232) published.

Compliance:

24/05/1990 Received Royal Assent
 

However, PINS acknowledged that the time taken to deal with enforcement appeals "is not meeting expectations", saying it had appointed more than 20 inspectors and case officers to work on such cases.

The inspectorate said it expects further improvements once an online appeals portal is in place, expected in June next year. The portal is currently being trialled across 27 local authorities in East Sussex, West Sussex and Kent.

In July, the inspectorate reported on missed environmental targets within its statutory timetabling, including determining environmental appeals on time. Only a third of environmental appeals (six) were made within the 28 week statutory period – a slight improvement on last year when it determined only a quarter on time. 

Earlier this year, an investigation by ENDS found that only a handful of environmental appeals are successful. Most such appeals related to challenges to Environment Agency permitting decisions.

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