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Planning Inspectorate: Appeals

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how long the Planning Inspectorate takes to (a) register and (b) process a planning appeal; and if she will make a statement. (197477)

The Planning Inspectorate receives about 2,000 appeals a month and aims to register these within three working days. As at 28 March 2008, some 1,530 new planning appeals had not been registered, the oldest of which were received on 29 February. The inspectorate is working hard to retrieve the situation and has introduced measures to allow it to direct more resources into eliminating the backlog. These have seen the number of appeals waiting to be registered fall from over 2000 in December 2007 to the present figure.

Target handling times set by Ministers vary according to the nature and complexity of the planning appeal and the method used to process it. For example, in February, the average time taken following registration to decide appeals proceeding by the written representations method was 18 weeks. For appeals proceeding by hearing or inquiry method, it was 39 weeks. Further details of performance in relation to planning appeals can be found on the inspectorate website:

http://www.planning-inspectorate.gov.uk/pins/appeals/planning_appeals/Planning_appeal_handling_times.htm