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Review calls for evidence on planning appeal inquiries

Words: Huw Morris

The government is calling for evidence for an ‘end-to-end’ review of planning appeal inquiries.

About 300 inquiries have been held in the past five years, amounting to 2 per cent of all planning appeals.

The government said many important developments are granted planning permission through inquiries and the process “must be rigorous and fair to ensure robust decisions are made”.

However in 2017-18 the inquiry process took on average 44 weeks from receipt of a complete and valid appeal to a decision.

The review will examine “how the current process is working from end to end and to identify what improvements can be made, in particular, how to speed up the process without harming the quality of decisions”.

The government is particularly concerned at the potential harmful consequences of unnecessary delays in appeal decisions for major housing proposals with the review focusing on such schemes. However, the government said the review presents an opportunity to look at planning appeal inquiries “holistically and to consider improvements to the process to ensure that it meets the purpose it was designed for”.

The deadline for evidence to the review, which will be chaired by former deputy director of economics at the Confederation of British Industry Bridget Rosewell, is 18 September.

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