The Government’s Planning Inspectorate, the body whom you appeal to if your local authority refuse your planning application, have just announced their updated “average timescales” for dealing with planning appeals.
It makes for pretty depressing reading and can add a year on to the planning process – even more galling as there is no financial redress against local authorities for the delays caused to your project if the inspector overturns their decision and allows your appeal…
At the moment, planning appeals are taking between 27 and 44 weeks (that’s over six months and up to nearly a year!) for regular applications depending on whether it’s written representations or an inquiry.
Householder applications are a little better (i.e. appeals against refusals for home extensions) and take on average just 15 weeks… FOUR MONTHS!
And don’t forget, that the above times are after you’ve submitted your planning application, waited at least 8 weeks (assuming it is decided on time!), got over the shock of a refusal, pulled together the planning appeal, submitted it the Inspectorate and then waited several weeks for the appeal to be validated. Only then does your appeal start!
And if you want to appeal the refusal of a Lawful Development Certificate under Permitted Development Rights that is taking between 44 weeks and 60 weeks!
While this is certainly not that fault of the Inspectorate, the Government do need to step in and increase resources to allow them to deal with appeals in more timely manner – as it stands, the whole process puts lots of people off even bothering to appeal.
Finally, to add insult to injury, these are AVERAGE timescales, some appeals can take even longer. Sigh…