Introduction to Planning Appeals Micro-blog Series

by Ed Dade

Posted on Feb. 6, 2022

Planning Appeals are an important part of the planning system. Decisions taken by Planning Inspectors can influence other decisions and shape the way policies are applied in practice.

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Who decides Planning Appeals?

Where an applicant disagrees with a local planning authority's decision on a planning application, the applicant may submit an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate - an executive agency, sponsored by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. The appeal case will be determined by a Planning Inspector.

Why are Planning Appeals important?

Consistency in the decision-making process is a key principle of the planning system. Like cases should be determined in a like manner, and previous planning decisions can form a material consideration.

Planning appeal decisions can therefore shape how national and local planning policies are applied in practice, and create incremental changes to the way the planning system functions.

About the Micro-blog Series

I have long taken an interest in appeal decisions, and many appeals have inspired me write a number of the blog posts published on this site.

I have carried out some analysis of Inspector's Reports to calculate the number of times each appeal decision is cited by other Planning Inspectors in subsequent appeal decisions. This has enabled me to identify those appeal decisions which carry greatest influence in the planning system.

Following this introductory post, I intend to write a series of micro-blog posts which focus on those planning appeal decisions which my analysis indicates are of greatest importance (since they have been referred to in multiple appeal decisions).

I have decided to call these reviews of appeals 'micro-blog posts', since they will differ in terms of style form my normal blog posts. For example, the micro-blog posts will not include the normal contextual and background information, or extensive discussion and narrative around the case. Each micro-blog post will be grouped using the Planning Appeals Micro-blog tag, and will include the following information:

  • Key learning points from the appeal decision i.e. how this case affects future decisions;
  • A summary of the case and main issues and arguments; and
  • A list of other appeals which make reference to the appeal.

My incentive for creating this micro-blog series is partly self-serving; my analysis shows that these cases are important, therefore as a planning practitioner these are the cases I need to learn about. Sharing this info as a micro-blog means others can potentially benefit from this knowledge.

The appeal cases I review may or may not be directly related to neighbourhood planning, as their content will depend on the subject of the planning appeal. However, I hope that the micro-blog posts will enable neighbourhood planners to write robust policies and gain a greater understanding of how the planning system operates.

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