Press release

First two planning appeals following the Rosewell Review process decided in record time

Two planning appeals have been decided in fewer than the 24 weeks’ target following the process recommended by the Rosewell Review

Bridget Rosewell

The first appeal for a development of 110 homes was submitted on 25 January 2019 and started on 4 February 2019. Following a three day inquiry held in May 2019 and a site visit, the Inspector, Stephen Normington BSc DipTP MRICS MRTPI FIQ FIHE allowed the appeal on 19 June 2019, twenty one weeks after the appeal was started.

The second appeal was for a development of 25 homes. The appeal was submitted on 15 February 2019 and started on 21 February 2019. A three day Inquiry began on 11 June and following a site visit, the Inspector Jennifer Vyse DipTP Dip PBM MRTPI issued her decision allowing the appeal on 2 July, just under 19 weeks after the appeal was started.

The Rosewell Report, published in February this year, made 22 recommendations to improve the planning appeal inquiry process. The Planning Inspectorate immediately began work on developing an action plan to implement those recommendations. Following a short pilot, and with the cooperation of the parties, the new method of processing inquiries was expanded to include all appeals dealt with by inquiries.

Sarah Richards, Chief Executive for the Planning Inspectorate, said:

“This much improved handling time is very good news. I would like to thank everyone involved in the appeal process for their help and cooperation in implementing Bridget Rosewell’s recommendations.”

“We are working hard to improve our service to customers across all our case work, and the recommendations from the Rosewell Review contribute to this. Very soon customers will begin to see improvements in other areas of our work, including easier on-line submission of appeals. Our recent recruitment of additional Planning Inspectors and Appeal Planning Officers, together with our new IT systems, will also result in improved handling times this year.”

The Planning Inspectorate deals, on average, with more than 15,000 planning appeals every year. Around 2% are handled through the inquiry process. The time taken to decide appeals is important as is ensuring all parties to an appeal have the opportunity to give their views. Planning Inspectors, who are independent and impartial, will ensure that everyone has an opportunity to submit evidence which they rely on to make the right and fair decision.


Journalists wanting further information should contact the Planning Inspectorate Press Office, on: 0303 444 5004 or 0303 444 5005 or email:

Published 3 July 2019