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Planning Inspectorate issues new guidance for Statements of Case and Statement of Common Ground for s.78 planning appeals

The Planning Inspectorate has issued – for s.78 planning appeals following the inquiries procedure – new guidance and a new process for the submission of the Statement of Case and Statement of Common Ground.

The changes relate to recommendation 2 and recommendation 7 as outlined by Bridget Rosewell in her report on the independent review of planning appeal inquiries.

Recommendation 2 was that: “The Planning Inspectorate should work with representatives of the key sectors involved in drafting statements of case to devise new pro formas for these statements which can then be added to the new portal and include, where appropriate, the introduction of mandatory information fields and word limits.”

The new Statement of Case guidance provides a guide for Appellants to follow. A digital proforma will later be available with the launch of the new portal that is being developed by the Inspectorate.

Recommendation 7 meanwhile said that “MHCLG and the Planning Inspectorate should substantially overhaul the approach to the preparation of statements of common ground”.

The Planning Inspectorate said the new Statement of Common Ground guidance set out several changes in approach including:

  • Appellants must submit a draft main statement of common/ uncommon ground upon appeal submission.
  • Within five weeks of the start date, the Local Planning Authority must submit an agreed main statement of common/uncommon ground. A suggested format is provided in the guidance and will later be available on the new portal.
  • A topic-based approach to ensure that disagreement on some matters between parties does not hold up the submission of agreed positions on others.
  • Early identification for areas of disagreement.

The Planning Inspectorate has updated its appeals procedural guide to reflect the changes to the process.

It has also produced a diagram showing the key steps and timeframes for appeals following the inquiries process. This includes the changes implemented as a result of the inquiries review. Inquiry appeal process

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