About us

The Planning Inspectorate deals with planning appeals, national infrastructure planning applications, examinations of local plans and other planning-related and specialist casework in England.

Our purpose

Our purpose is to deal with planning appeals, national infrastructure, planning applications, examinations of local plans and other planning-related and specialist casework.

We share our expertise with our customers, communities, businesses, local and national government to enable good planning outcomes.

In this short film, employees of the Planning Inspectorate explain our purpose and the values we work by.

Planning Inspectorate - Fair, Impartial, Open

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The Planning Inspectorate’s service covers three main areas: Appeals, applications and examinations.


Ensuring a fair planning system

The right to appeal a planning decision made by a local authority is a key feature of the planning system, as is appealing when an authority is taking too long. While there will always be those who agree with inspectors’ decisions and those who do not, we always operate in a fair, open and impartial way. We:

  • handle appeals as quickly as possible, giving all involved, including local communities, certainty one way or the other
  • make well explained decisions on appeals and other casework, from large housing developments to individual footpaths and village greens
  • provide citizens with an efficient service for appeals about their own homes.
  • give all of those with an interest in a case a chance to be involved

Appeals we handle include planning appeals, enforcement notice appeals, right of way appeals, environmental appeals, listed building consent appeals, lawful development certificate appeals, community infrastructure levy appeals, tree preservation order appeals, anti-social high hedge appeals and hedgerow notice appeals.

See detailed information about planning permission and appeals


Helping to meet future infrastructure needs

We provide the application process for nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs) across England and Wales. NSIPs, such as new harbours, roads and power generating stations, require development consent before they can be constructed. We:

  • provide a streamlined application service to assess applications for NSIPs
  • balance the country’s needs and developers’ plans with the likely impacts on localities, listening carefully to the views of communities, specialist groups and others’ interests
  • deliver a predictable and efficient process, providing certainty for all involved, including ministers who make the final decision on whether a project is approved

Visit the National Infrastructure Planning website for project information and advice.

Other types of applications handled by the Planning Inspectorate include called-in planning applications, applying to carry out works on common land and recovered marine licensing applications.


Supporting communities to shape where they live

We examine local plans prepared by local planning authorities.

Succinct and up-to-date plans should provide a positive vision for the future of each area and a framework for addressing housing needs and other economic, social and environmental priorities. We:

  • support local authorities develop plans that fully meet local needs
  • share our planning knowledge and expertise to help ensure the right development happens in the right place at the right time
  • examine whether local plans have been prepared in accordance with legal requirements and national policy

Other examinations handled by the Planning Inspectorate include community infrastructure levy examinations and spatial development strategies.

Strategic Plan 2021 - 2025

Our Strategic Plan for 2021 - 2025 sets out our vision, direction and strategic context.


Our vision is to provide our customers with high quality, timely and efficient services that support the nation’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by engaging, empowering and equipping our workforce and by delivering ambitious policy changes.

Who we are

We have around 800 staff and 100 contractors, who work from home or from our office in Bristol.

Corporate information

Access our information

Jobs and contracts

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