A Planning appeal inquiry review was announced by England’s Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on 22 June 2018 together with its terms of reference.
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A Planning appeal inquiry review was announced together with its terms of reference:
- Aim: To review the use and operation of the planning appeal inquiries procedure to make it quicker and better. The Review will examine the end-to-end process and will make recommendations to significantly reduce the time taken to conclude planning inquiries, while maintaining the quality of decisions. The review will examine the rules and processes of the full end-to-end process surrounding inquiries, particularly focusing on major housing schemes as a government delivery priority, and the behaviours of all parties. It will examine whether specific or general efficiencies in inquiries procedures could have wider benefits for timing and handling of other appeals processes.
- Scope: The Review should engage with all parties in the inquiry processes, including appellants, local planning authorities, third parties including statutory consultees, lawyers, Planning Inspectors, and other Planning Inspectorate staff. It should focus on the role of inquiries in major housing applications, with wider application to all inquiries. If appropriate, it should look at relevant good practice in comparable regimes.
It should consider:
- the circumstances in which the public inquiry procedure is favoured by appellants and whether a different procedure may be more appropriate
- the purpose of the inquiry procedure and whether current practice delivers this purpose
- the rules and procedures governing inquiries, the custom and practice during inquiries, and make recommendations for improvements, in particular what it would take to halve current end to end inquiry procedure times
- the specific implications for the Planning Inspectorate and appellants of any recommendations to change the inquiries procedure, including implications for other appeal procedures.
- Timescale: The review will report to the Secretary of State for Housing by the end of 2018.
- Review Lead: The review will be led by Bridget Rosewell OBE.
- Resources: The review will be supported by a small team of officials within the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Planning Inspectorate.