[UPDATE: For the subsequent independent report in response to this consultation, please view this post.]
The government has published the following consultation ("call for evidence"), which runs for 8 weeks from 24/07/2018 until 18/09/2018:
- The "What is the problem" section within the above consultation document includes the following information:
- "Schemes that are subject to an inquiry may be large scale, involve multiple parties, are complex in terms of their potential impacts and/or controversial. The appeal process must be rigorous and fair to ensure robust decisions are made. However, in 2017-18 the inquiry process took on average 44 weeks from the receipt of a complete and valid appeal to a decision being made. The lengthy process involves many stages and can generate a substantial volume of evidence, which is highly technical and specialist in nature.".
- "Given the importance of the schemes, both for the appellants and local communities, and the length of time and complexity involved in the current planning appeal inquiry process, the Government has commissioned an independent review, led by Bridget Rosewell. The Review will examine how the current process is working from end to end and to identify what improvements can be made, in particular, how to speed up the process without harming the quality of decisions.".
- The "What evidence and ideas are we looking for" section within the above consultation document includes the following information:
- "We want to hear about what works well in the current process and what does not. If there are areas that don’t work well, we would welcome suggestions about how the process can be improved.".
- "All comments about the planning appeal inquiries process are welcome. We are particularly keen to hear from those who have direct experience in any role.".
- Note: The "Collection" [of documents] page (link) relating to the above consultation also includes the following documents:
- "Planning appeal inquiries review - terms of reference".