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Inspectorate runs pilot scheme in response to Rosewell review

Words: Laura Edgar

The Planning Inspectorate has begun a small pilot scheme that will see a number of inquiry appeals held earlier than at present.

The move comes in response to the review of the appeal process, conducted by Bridget Rosewell, published in February. It concluded that a lack of “suitably qualified inspectors” is hampering moves to set up inquiry hearings on time and that appeals are also held up by “outdated administrative processes and poor IT infrastructure”.

The pilot involves accelerating a small number of inquiry appeals: the inspectorate has started to work with those appellants and the local planning authorities concerned. The pilot involves inquiry appeals that the inspectorate is satisfied that an inquiry is the most appropriate procedure. This moves away from the current process whereby parties are invited to agree a programme, including an inquiry date.

“Because this is a pilot, and is very much in its infancy, we can only conduct a small number of cases in this way, and most will continue to follow our bespoke process,” said the inspectorate.

“This is the first step in implementing a significant change in the way planning appeal inquiries are conducted and the process cannot be changed overnight, nor can we ‘bring forward’ inquiries already arranged. We hope that all parties will understand this and continue to work with us, whether or not ‘their’ appeal is part of the pilot.”

Read more:

Rosewell review calls for inquiry timescales to be slashed by five months

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