New Guidance for Planning Appeals

The Planning Inspectorate (PINS) has published new guidance for the submission of the Statement of Case and Statement of Common Ground, which are key documents to be provided as part of Planning Appeals.

The changes follow the recent Rosewell Review to improve and speed up planning appeals. The conclusions of the independent review were published in February this year. The new PINS guidance relates to the second and seventh recommendations made in the Rosewell Review.

Recommendation two stated that the Planning Inspectorate “should work with representatives of the key sectors involved in drafting statements of case to devise new proformas for these statements which can then be added to the new portal and include, where appropriate, the introduction of mandatory information fields and word limits”.

In response to this recommendation, the Inspectorate has published new specific guidance for appellants and a digital version will be available in due course.

The seventh recommendation was for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and the Inspectorate to “substantially overhaul the approach to the preparation of statements of common ground”.

The new guidance on this specific matter sets out a number of changes, including:

  • Appellants must submit a draft main Statement of Common Ground upon appeal submission.
  • Within five weeks of the start date, the local planning authority must submit an agreed main Statement of Common Ground. A suggested format is provided in the guidance and will later be available on the new portal the Planning Inspectorate is currently developing.
  • A topic-based approach to ensure that disagreement on some matters between parties does not hold up the submission of agreed positions on others.
    Early identification for areas of disagreement.

The new guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/planning-appeals-procedural-guide

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