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|19||The number of withdrawn inquiry appeals||✓|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.