On September 12th 2013 the RIBA released the following statement regarding Planning Appeals
Developers will be required to present a full statement of case at the point of launching a planning appeal from 1 October 2013, following the confirmation of changes to the appeals system last week.
Planning Minister Nick Boles said giving communities the ability to see an appellant’s whole case up front will help them make their own representations and will give the system greater transparency.
The changes, following last year’s consultation, are designed to speed up the appeals system, although developers will clearly have to do more work before they can start the ball rolling. Alongside the full statement of case, they will also have to submit a draft statement of common ground for hearings or inquiries.
Local planning authorities will then have just one week to notify interested parties and must submit their own case within five weeks. Boles said the Planning Inspectorate would be able to set earlier dates for hearings and inquiries as a result.
Architects should look out for new guidance on planning appeals due to be published at the same time as the changes come into effect; the Planning Inspectorate will also update procedural guidance on its website.
Announcing the secondary legislation in a statement to Parliament last week, Boles also gave the go ahead to a dedicated commercial appeals service to be modeled on the householder service, which will be expected to make its decisions within eight weeks. However, the expedited system will be restricted to minor appeals, such as those for advertisement consent or shop fronts.
Changes to the system of demolition consent for buildings in conservation areas will also be introduced from 1 October: the requirement for conservation area consent for the demolition of unlisted buildings will be removed, although it will still remain necessary to obtain permission to demolish from the local planning authority. Boles told Parliament that the level of protection for unlisted buildings in conservation areas will remain unchanged.
As planning determination is often difficult to predict, and that local Planning Policy is often subjective, Planning Appeals can often be the next option for projects. It is the practice of Peter Dickinson Architects to provide full appeal statements at the submission of a Planning Appeal in order for the Inspectorate to have as much time as possible to study the material before a site inspection.
RIBA. (2013). Planning appeals will require a full statement ‘up front’ from next month. Available: http://www.architecture.com/MemberUpdate/Practice/2013/September2013/12September/12September2013.aspx#plan. Last accessed 12th Sept 2013.