Press release

Planning Inspectorate announces departure of Chief Executive

Chief Executive, Sir Michael Pitt has announced that he is to leave the Planning Inspectorate at the end of March 2014.

Sir Michael was appointed Chair of the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) upon its creation in May 2009. He was then appointed as Chief Executive of the Planning Inspectorate and oversaw the seamless transition of the IPC’s responsibilities to the Planning Inspectorate when the IPC was abolished in April 2012.

Sir Michael played a key role in ensuring that upon its creation, the IPC was ready to accept, examine and meet the statutory deadlines laid down under the Planning Act 2008 for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.

As Chief Executive of the Planning Inspectorate he has been instrumental in moving the organisation forward and preparing for the new responsibilities given to it by the Growth and Infrastructure Act.

Commenting on his decision, Sir Michael said: “It has been a great privilege to lead and be part of the Planning Inspectorate and I am incredibly proud of all that we have achieved. “We have strived and succeeded in making the Planning Inspectorate an organisation which is immensely respected by planning professionals and Government. My five year fixed term contract is coming to an end and I believe the time is now right for me to move on to the next stage of my career.”

Peter Schofield, Director General for the Neighbourhoods Group at the Department for Communities and Local Government said.

“Mike has done a fantastic job over his five years in charge at the IPC and then The Planning Inspectorate. He firmly established the IPC as the body responsible for planning decisions for nationally significant infrastructure, and has led the merger of the IPC with the Planning Inspectorate and prepared the Inspectorate for its new responsibilities following the Growth & Infrastructure Act. I would like to congratulate Mike on all he has achieved and wish him well in the next stage of his career.”

During the first half of his career Michael was involved in the planning, design and construction of transport and other infrastructure in this country and abroad, working for the private and public sectors.

He has held senior posts in a variety of local authorities, including director of property and director of technical services at Humberside. From 1990 to 2005 he was chief executive of Cheshire and Kent County Councils.

Michael has worked on a wide range of consultancy assignments, including a year-long appointment as independent chair of the Government’s review of the 2007 floods. His well-regarded report has led to changes in the management of the effects of flooding.

He has been chair of a number of other organisations including NHS South West, the General Medical Council’s National Revalidation Programme Board, two companies and a local charity supporting families in North Wiltshire.

Sir Michael was awarded a knighthood in the 2006 Birthday Honours and was recently awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science in recognition of his significant contribution to planning by the University West England. He has been married to his wife Maria for over 40 years and has two daughters, Teresa and Sarah.

Notes for editors

  1. The recruitment for Chief Executive, Planning Inspectorate is currently being advertised by consultancy Harvey Nash plc.
  2. The Planning Inspectorate is the government agency for England and Wales responsible for handling approximately 20,000 appeals a year, including:
    • national infrastructure planning
    • planning and enforcement appeals
    • examinations of local plans
  3. A high resolution photograph of Sir Michael Pitt is available by emailing: pressoffice@pins.gsi.gov.uk
  4. Further enquiries can be made to The Planning Inspectorate press office on 0303 444 5004 or at the email address above.