Plans for Continuing Local Plan Examinations

30th March 2020

We have all been benefiting from the improved efficiency in which planning appeals have been dealt with as a result of the Rosewell reforms. The recent guidance published by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) on the 25th March, that appeals, including informal hearings and local plan examinations, for those scheduled up to 23rd April, will be postponed is therefore unwelcome. PINS advised that:

“At this stage we do not know when they may be able to resume, but it is unlikely to be soon”.

The advice further noted that PINS is considering “technological solutions” to allow appeal and local plan hearings to go ahead in response to increasing scrutiny from barristers and the RTPI. This may include appeal hearings being undertaken remotely.

Although PINS have now advised that all previously arranged site visits are now cancelled with immediate effect, this is being implemented at the discretion of the Inspector on a case by case basis. Inspectors appear to generally be carrying out unaccompanied visits where the use of public transport is not required. We would therefore recommend, where practical, if PINS have not already been in touch, confirming with them that you are happy for an unaccompanied visit to go ahead, otherwise it is likely to be long delay.

For more information, please contact a member of our team.

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