Housing minister Christopher Pincher has written to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS), outlining new measures for appeals.
These are summarised below:
• an expectation that measures are put in place through the new digital services to prevent invalid appeals being made and that appeals are increasingly submitted “right first time”.
• measuring decision timeliness from valid receipt of an appeal through to decision
• an expectation that average times (*) for decisions will be reduced, as well as reducing the range of time within which decisions are made.
• moving progressively towards all cases across all appeal types being decided within these ranges:
– wholly written representations: 16-20 weeks.
– partly or wholly by hearing: 24-26 weeks.
– partly or wholly by inquiry: 24-26 weeks (reflecting the previous Rosewell target).
– publishing the number of cases we have quality assured.
Those measures that won’t be used moving forward are:
The range of different target times for different appeal types: eight, 14, 22, 24, 26, 28, 32, 33 or 43 weeks depending on the appeal type.
The target of fewer than 1 per cent of decisions being the subject of successful legal challenge.
Targets based on the ‘start’ date (which is not at the ‘start’ of the customer experience of PINS services).
Note: The statutory time frames for national infrastructure applications (NSIPs) and the target for local plans remain the same. However, they may change when current proposals for wider reforms are finalised.
*The average time to decide written representations cases currently varies between 20 and 30 weeks, with some determined as quickly as eight weeks but some taking more than a year.