Planning Inspectorate publish an updated Inquiries Review Action Plan following Bridget

Inquiry

Today, 4 October 2019, the Planning Inspectorate have published an update to the
Inquires Review Action Plan (PDF, 813KB, 45 pages)

first published in May. The Action Plan sets out how the recommendations from the Rosewell Review into Planning Inquiries are being implemented. This update follows on from the visit paid to the Inspectorate by Bridget Rosewell on 19 September.

Since the publication of the Inquires Review findings in February 2019, significant progress has been made with over half of the 22 recommendations delivered and all others well under way. Most importantly, all planning appeal inquiries are now following the new inquiries process.

Progress against the 22 Recommendations

1 Improving the submission and validation of appeals
2 Reforming the statement of case
3 Streamlining the process for deciding the appeal mode to be used
4 Issuing a start letter more quickly
5 Preparing for the inquiry (start letter to start of inquiry)
6 Costs of the Inquiry
7 Statements of Common Ground
8 Requiring early inspector engagement
9 Preparation in approaching the examination of the evidence
10 The timely submission of inquiry documents
11 Inspectorate to enforce timely submission of docs including with sanctions
12 Encouraging early identification of Rule 6 parties
13 The conduct of inquiries and the role played by inspectors
14 Use of technology
15 The role of interested parties during the event
16 Allocation of time post inquiry for the inspector to write up the case
17 Decisions made directly by the Secretary of State
18 Inspector availability and the management of casework
19 The number of withdrawn inquiry appeals
20 The benefits of a policy feedback loop
21 Implementing the proposals and monitoring future performance
22 Reforming data collection and performance measurement

Since the start of issuing Decisions in the new ‘Rosewell style’ in March 2019, decisions from 15 inquiries have been issued using the new process and timeline all within the expected timeframe of 24-26 weeks; over 90% have been within 24 or less; under 10% within 26 weeks.

The Action Plan is a live document and will be updated again in February 2020 and June 2020.

/Public Release. View in full here.