Economist Bridgett Rosewell led a review into the planning appeals process and has suggested timescales to be reduced by five months.
Currently, planning appeals take an average of 47 weeks. The review by Bridgette Rosewell was first announced in June 2018 with the objective to reduce the time taken to make decisions on planning appeals, whilst still ensuring quality decisions are being made.
The review has now listened to evidence from the Planning Inspectorate, in addition to a range of stakeholders involved in the appeal process. This has shown that although planning inquiries deliver high quality decisions and are valued, there is room for improvement in a lot of areas of the process.
After the review, 22 recommendations have been made that cover three principal areas of improvement, including earlier engagement by all parties, greater certainty about timescales, and harnessing technology to improve efficiency and transparency. The report states that if these recommendations are taken forward, inspector-led appeals should be limited to between 24-26 weeks, which is a five-month reduction.
Below is a summary of the key areas needing improvement within the appeals process, according to the Independent Review of Planning Appeal Inquiries: