News story

Performance update – September 2022

On a monthly basis, we publish the latest official statistics on appeals performance, which represent the highest volume (in terms of number of cases) of the work of the Planning Inspectorate.

Woman making planning appeal on laptop

Planning Inspectorate statistical release 22 September 2022

Alongside this, we update the appeals handling times data to give customers the latest information on the average time it takes to receive a decision and provide an update on our other main casework areas.

In summary:

  • There are currently 62 live local plan examinations in progress. Local Plans help to protect communities from speculative or unwanted proposals. We encourage Local Planning Authorities to use our advisory visits to help them get their plans in good shape and deal with challenges well before submission.

  • We have a high number of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) at various stages. They include 70 national infrastructure schemes where we are providing advice before submission, 10 applications being considered by us and 12 proposals where we have completed our recommendations and the Secretary of State’s decision is awaited. These are vital to the ongoing support by The Planning Inspectorate to the country’s economic recovery.

  • We continue to meet the statutory deadlines for infrastructure applications and are currently recruiting inspectors to do infrastructure work in preparation for an expected increase in submissions next year.

  • The overall number of open cases at the end of August was 13,981 which was consistent with the previous month. We continue to focus on casework with the most community interest and those key to supporting the nation’s economic recovery, such as national infrastructure applications, local plan examinations and appeals needing a hearing or inquiry. We continue to encourage all parties to resolve matters locally and reduce pressure on the appeals service.

  • The number of decisions made in August was 1,474, slightly higher than the 12-month average.

  • The Planning Inspectorate continues to work practically to reduce average decision times, a key priority with the new Ministerial performance Measures announced earlier this year. Since April 2022 newly received planning appeals heard by hearing are considered on a similar procedural timescale to planning inquiries, with decisions in 24-26 weeks. The median decision time for planning appeal hearing decisions is reducing and was 43 weeks in August. Many planning inquiries continue to be decided in fewer than 30 weeks, although some take longer.

  • By the end of September many appeals in 30 Local Planning Authorities (LPA) will no longer be submitted via the Appeals Casework Portal (ACP) but through a new GOV.UK service. It is quicker and easier to use than ACP and is designed with users and to full accessibility standards. It is being tested live so it can be improved and rolled out to appellants in most LPAs by the end of March 2023.

  • It is vital appellants can have confidence in the quality of our decision making and our quarterly (April to June 2022) data shows 831 appeal cases were quality assured. This represents 22% of all decisions issued and includes 598 by Inspectors in Training as part of their learning.

Published 22 September 2022