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19/08/2019

Guidance published for s.78 appeals

Words: Laura Edgar

The Planning Inspectorate has published new guidance for the submission of the Statement of Case and Statement of Common Ground for s.78 appeals. There is also a new process for each.

The changes follow the review by Bridget Rosewell of planning appeal inquiries, the conclusions of which were published in February this year. The new guidance relates to the second and seventh recommendations made in the review.

Recommendation two stated that the Planning Inspectorate “should work with representatives of the key sectors involved in drafting statements of case to devise new pro formas for these statements which can then be added to the new portal and include, where appropriate, the introduction of mandatory information fields and word limits”.

In response, the inspectorate has published new Statement of Case guidance appellants to follow. A digital document will be available on the new portal that the inspectorate is currently developing.

The seventh recommendation was for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and the inspectorate to "substantially overhaul the approach to the preparation of statements of common ground".

The new guidance for Statements of Common Ground sets out a number of changes, including:

  • Appellants must submit a draft main statement of common / uncommon ground upon appeal submission.
  • Within five weeks of the start date, the local planning authority must submit an agreed main statement of common / uncommon ground. A suggested format is provided in the guidance and will later be available on the new portal.
  • A topic-based approach to ensure that disagreement on some matters between parties does not hold up the submission of agreed positions on others.
  • Early identification for areas of disagreement.

The planning appeals procedural guide has been updated to reflect the changes.

Image credit | Shutterstock

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