Yesterday (10 September 2020), The Planning Inspectorate published its Annual Report for 2019/20. The Report highlights a year of real progress and substantial change for the Planning Inspectorate and the successful rollout of its performance recovery programme.
Commenting on the improvements highlighted in the report, Sarah Richards, Chief Executive of the Planning Inspectorate said:
With our performance recovery programme in place, we have significantly improved our casework performance throughout the year, both in planning appeal cases and our enforcement appeal work. We have also made substantial progress with implementing the recommendations of the Rosewell review and the average time taken to decide planning appeal inquiries has nearly halved.
Referring to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on performance Sarah added:
As the end of the financial year approached, before the outbreak of COVID-19 in England and Wales, our operational performance had improved significantly.
We expected, prior to the pandemic, that we would see continued progress in improving the planning appeal decision speed; further improve the timescales for our enforcement appeal work; and as a priority, to increase the consistency of our casework timeframes into the summer of 2020 and beyond. The necessary response to the COVID-19 pandemic significantly altered our approach to casework progression, and naturally impacted on sustaining our performance recovery.”
Key points from the report include:
- Appeal and specialist casework – valid to decision time improved from a median of 24 weeks to 21 weeks.
- Planning appeals by written representations – receipt to decision times significantly improved from a median of close to 30 weeks to 19 weeks.
- Planning appeals by inquiry – successfully implementing most of the Rosewell review recommendations, with decision times halved to a median of 24 weeks.
- Reduced the number of cases being considered across all workstreams from around 13,000 to around 9,500.
- Less than 1% of all casework successfully challenged in the High Court for the tenth year running.
- Increased staff engagement.
- Moving quickly towards implementation of new approaches and services (an objective set for later years of our Strategic Plan).
Journalists wanting further information should contact the Planning
Inspectorate Press Office, on: 0303 444 5004 or 0303 444 5005 or email: