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Planning appeal reforms

A raft of reforms to planning appeal procedures came into force this month.

The reforms, which aim to increase transparency and speed up the appeal process, will require applicants to do more up-front work before submitting their appeals. 
Appeal forms will be accompanied by a full statement of case, a statement as to the preferred procedure for the appeal and a statement of common ground where relevant.
Similar requirements apply for listed building and conservation area appeals. 

The Secretary of State will have increased powers to award costs at planning appeals and to recover costs where a scheduled inquiry or hearing does not go ahead. 
The Planning Inspectorate has said 80 per cent of written representations and hearing appeals will be decided within 14 weeks, with 80 per cent of non-bespoke inquiries to be decided within 22 weeks.