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Planning Law Solicitors

Consultation on Speeding up Planning Appeal Procedures

November 5th, 2012 by Louise Humphreys

Posted In: Planning

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has launched a consultation on proposals to speed up planning appeal procedures, including through the introduction of an expedited 'commercial appeals service'.

The DCLG said the aim of the consultation, contained in the paper Technical review of planning appeal procedures, was to "speed up the process, make it more transparent and provide greater consistency and certainty over timescales".

The main points on which the Department is seeking responses are:

  • Earlier submission and notification of appeal statements - "so interested parties see information earlier and can comment";
  • Agreeing 'common ground' upfront - "so councils and appellants narrow the issues of dispute more openly and clearly";
  • Starting hearings and inquiries sooner - "leading to quicker decisions, within agreed boundaries set for the Planning Inspectorate";
  • Introducing an expedited 'commercial appeals service' - "so some appeals on minor commercial developments follow a shorter process with a minimum of documentation".
  • Exploring opportunities for aligning other planning-related appeal processes - "so that the number of Statutory Instruments is reduced";
  • Issuing one guide to planning appeal procedures - "as part of the drive to reduce planning guidance to a minimum".

The Planning Inspectorate is also taking steps to improve its online appeal process to speed up access to information, and may consider reviewing the appeal procedure determination criteria and its bespoke timetable service.

Councils and other interested parties have until December 13 to submit responses.