June 29, 2018
The Government has announced the appointment of Mrs Bridget Rosewell to chair the Independent Review into Planning Appeal Inquiries.
Mrs Rosewell, a qualified economist, has extensive knowledge and experience in the planning sector, including previously acting as an expert witness at planning inquiries.
The review has been set up with the aim of reducing the time it takes to determine inquiries established to resolve disputed planning proposals, whilst ensuring quality decision making.
The review will recommend reforms by the end of the year which produce swifter decisions that will get the new homes the country needs built quicker. In 2017 to 2018, appeal inquiries took an average 44 weeks to complete, which delays housing and other forms of development.
The Planning Inspectorate is the government agency for England and Wales responsible for handling approximately 20,000 pieces of casework a year, including:
national infrastructure planning
planning and enforcement appeals
examinations of local plans
Last year, public inquiries made up only 2% (282) of all planning appeals (15,742 in total). These inquiries contributed to a disproportionately large number of proposed new homes – some 20,000 dwellings a year.
Approximately 30,000 new homes were granted permission by the Planning Inspectorate through the appeals process last year.
“The Planning Inspectorate’s role in arbitrating disputed planning applications is vital, but the current inquiry process is very drawn out,” commented Mrs Rosewell. “I’m thrilled to be appointed the Chair of this review and look forward to exploring the real solutions that could speed up and improve the process and give greater certainty to those with an interest in a development or who are affected by it.”
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