How long will planning appeals take?

The Planning Inspectorate (PINS) has a workload crisis, which leaves planning professionals and developers increasingly frustrated.

PINS handles more than 22,000 appeals each year and currently has 250 inspectors.

The timescales issued by PINS in March revealed how long appeals currently take:

Planning Appeals

  • Written representations: 24 weeks (a rise of 25% within a year)
  • Hearings: 36 weeks
  • Inquiries: 49 weeks
  • Householder appeals: 15 weeks

    Enforcement Appeals

  • Written representations: 40 weeks
  • Hearings: 37 weeks
  • Inquiries: 60 weeks
  • The root causes for the delays appear to be the lack of inspectors due to budget cuts, retirement of senior inspectors and the sharp increase in local plan examinations. As many authorities are over-optimistic in their assumptions about their housing land supply has lead to an increase in appeals on this issue alone.
  • Planners are concerned about the wider consequences for their clients, the economy and developers as delays increase cost, create uncertainty and ultimately discourage and prevent investment.

PINS is planning to employ a further 30 to tackle their workload crisis – watch this space!

Author: Claudia Dietz

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