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Last edited 09 Mar 2020
In June 2018, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire MP appointed Bridget Rosewell to chair an independent review into planning appeal inquiries. The review was set up to reduce the time it takes to determine inquiries established to resolve disputed planning proposals, whilst still ensuring quality decision making.
On 19 December 2018 Rosewell submitted a report following the review. The report made 22 recommendations about how the planning appeal inquiry process could be improved and decisions made more quickly, proposing that the average time to decide a planning appeal inquiry could be slashed from an average of 47 weeks to around 26 weeks.
She concluded that outdated administrative processes and poor IT infrastructure were unnecessarily holding up cases and that a lack of suitably qualified inspectors was hampering efforts to set up inquiry hearings on time. Recommendations included committing the Planning Inspectorate to introducing a new online portal for the submission of inquiry appeals, setting out a strategy for recruiting additional inspectors so inquiries can be scheduled sooner, and reducing the length of time they take to conclude.
James Brokenshire said: “Planning appeal inquiries have held up development and kept communities waiting in limbo – 47 weeks on average is far too long to wait for a decision on something so important as a proposal for new development… Reducing the time it takes to secure crucial decisions ensures the delivery of more homes, in the right places, and will help us reach our ambition of 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s.”
In March 2019 it was announced that the Planning Inspectorate would run a pilot scheme for inquiries in response to the recommendations made. Ref https://www.gov.uk/government/news/inquiries-review
An update on progress implementing the recommendations of the review was published on 3 May 2019. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/rosewell-inquiry-review-update
On 14 May 2019, the Planning Inspectorate published its action plan to implement the recommendations of the review. Ref https://www.gov.uk/government/news/inquiries-review-action-plan
In January 2020 it was reported that 15 of the 22 recommendations had been implemented. Ref https://www.gov.uk/government/news/performance-update-moving-ahead-in-2020
On 12 February 2020, Bridget Rosewell, together with the Planning Inspectorate and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) hosted an event to mark one year since publication of the Review. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/one-year-on-from-rosewell-review-what-have-we-learnt-so-far
It was reported that out of the 22 recommendations, the Planning Inspectorate had implemented 16, which included streamlining the process, reforming the statement of case, earlier inspector engagement and overhauling statements of common ground.
On 9 March 2020, the Planning Inspectorate published an update to the Review Action Plan first published in May 2019, setting out how the recommendations from the Review were being implemented. Ref https://www.gov.uk/government/news/16-out-of-22-rosewell-recommendations-implemented-as-planning-inspectorate-publishes-updated-action-plan
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
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- National Planning Policy Framework.
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- Planning objection.
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- Recovered planning appeal.
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