Recent Blog Entries

21st June 2024
Advanced searching using our new software upgrade

You can now search with wildcards * and special commands to find search terms within the same SENTENCE or PARAGRAPH or NEAR or NOTNEAR other words. Great tools for better searches.

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28th May 2024
Planning appeal success rates and timescales

Planning Inspectorate Ministerial Measures for the past 12 months show an improvement in timescales for hearings and inquiries.

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15th May 2024
Your LPA's performance on planning appeals

How good is your local planning authority (LPA) at winning appeals? See its past performance in a handy table here for both last year and the year before.

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30th April 2024
Making it easier

How do we make work easier? Quicker? More successful? There’s a tried and tested way, which most of us ignore.

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20th March 2024
Speeding up the LPA tortoise

For years the tortoise has worn racing ferrari camouflage, which has fooled nobody except maybe the government.

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21st December 2023
Is delivering housing development still a priority?

Interesting what’s not changed in the revised NPPF, such as the Housing Delivery Test.

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20th December 2023
Michael Gove's Christmas presents

Christmas came early yesterday with the flurry of long-awaited documents from dear old Michael.

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1st December 2023
‘Decision hygiene’ tips from Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman

‘Decision-making hygiene’ is an intriguing new concept.  What does it mean for planners?

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11th July 2023
One way to be successful at barn conversion and Class Q applications

Are you facing a difficult class Q or barn conversion application? Don’t despair; you can take heart from many successful appeals.

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28th April 2023
LPAs with the worst planning appeal success rates in 2022-23

This year's worst performing LPAs for planning appeals and link to the results for all LPAs' performance in 2022-23.

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17th April 2023
Is planning approval easier for small sites if they are self build? - 2023 update

Is custom and self-build development easier to get planning consent for?  Yes and no.

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9th January 2023
The Housing Delivery Test – will it make any difference to your planning appeal’s success?

Will the Housing Delivery Test make any difference to your appeal’s chances of success? You may find the answer is not what you expected.

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12th December 2022
Planning Appeals Map

When someone mentions that appeal decision down the road, turn left past the pub, you know, at whatsitcalled…..don’t you groan and wish there was a map? Good news – there is!

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22nd November 2022
Winning appeals with good evidence on affordable housing

Useful links that can boost the weight given to the affordable units in your scheme.

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15th November 2022
Winning designs: what section 80e appeals reveal about achieving a successful design

Design ideas abound in section 80e appeals, offering inspiration for more run-of-the-mill developments. What can we learn from them to sharpen our skills?

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2nd September 2022
Are planning decisions increasingly at the mercy of a vetocracy?

The press, at last, seems to understand planners' frustrations.  But is the claim of a vetocracy actually true?

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30th August 2022
Are residential appeal success rates returning to previous levels?

What is a realistic view of the direction of travel?

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28th July 2022
Are net-zero developments unachievable, or can hemp win over objectors?

The drive for zero carbon can give planners’ headaches, but could hemp be part of the answer, given its negative carbon footprint? 

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25th May 2022
Likelihood of winning a planning appeal

The Planning Inspector's annual statistics for 2021-22 have recently been published with each individual Inspector and LPA's performance now available.

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6th May 2022
Is getting planning consent easier for small sites if they are self-build?

Hopes have been raised by a Decision allowing 4 self-build dwellings in Wyre Forest, but how easy is it to replicate this success?

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23rd March 2022
Do rising house prices help win an planning appeal?

Providing Inspectors with hard evidence can be helpful if tackled in the right way.

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22nd March 2022
The fuel crisis, sustainability and planning appeals

"Is my fuel bill sustainable?" is becoming an everyday conversation bringing sustainability into focus. But do the lower carbon emissions of new development make any difference in appeals?

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26th January 2022
Do tree-lined streets help you win or lose a planning appeal?

Is the NPPF requirement for tree-lined streets being applied in appeals? We examine 3 appeals.

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17th January 2022
Housing Delivery Test results

The Government has just published the Housing Delivery Test results, summarised in the handy table below.

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20th December 2021
Beautiful design verses housing numbers

Which matters more, beauty or meeting housing targets?  It’s a decision that hangs in the balance in many appeals.

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26th November 2021
Housing Delivery Test likely results

The Housing Delivery Test is underway, with housing delivery figures published yesterday causing some local planning authorities to break into a cold sweat.

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12th November 2021
Platinum Jubilee Landmarks at appeal

Over 2022 we'll keep a running tally of Platinum Jubilee landmarks featuring in Appeal Decisions, in honour of the Queen.

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2nd November 2021
Beautiful Infrastructure?

COP26 is focusing minds on renewable energy but the NPPF requires 'beautiful' buildings.  How can we make renewable infrastructure as beautiful as the Victorians did with chimneys?

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4th October 2021
The “tilted balance” in favour of development

Even small developments of less than 5 dwellings can benefit from the “tilted balance” in certain circumstances. We explore 3 examples where minor housing developments were allowed despite conflict with the Local Plan.

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16th September 2021
Quickly locating appeals on our map

Are you curious about the geographic pattern of appeals allowed?  Ever wanted to zoom in on appeal hotspots?  AppealFinder has introduced a new map tool that enables you to do exactly that.

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23rd July 2021
Appeal timescales - the good, the bad and the ugly

The Planning Inspectorate’s latest statistical release on 22nd July shows a mix of good, bad and ugly news on the fraught issue of the likely timescale for a Decision on your appeal.

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29th June 2021
LPAs with the worst planning appeal success rates in 2020/21

This year's 20 worst performing LPAs.

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20th April 2021
The danger of alternative designs in Class Q appeals

“Timing is everything,” as they say.  This is certainly true when considering alternative designs as the following example of a Class Q conversion from a barn to a dwelling demonstrates.

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12th April 2021
Why are appeal success rates so low?

Why are appeal success rates so low at only 26% overall and 19% for minor residential developments in the Q3 figures for 2020-21?

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5th March 2021
The National Model Design Code – will it change appeals?

There are certainly some benefits in replacing the variability of individual officers with a more consistent and therefore more predictable system, but will it be good or bad news for appellants?

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8th January 2021
To appeal or not to appeal – assessing cases where design is the main issue

If your planning application has been refused on design grounds, how do you decide whether its worth appealing?  Is there a relatively objective way of assessing your chances?  We have managed to get hold of the PINS training manual for appeal Inspectors and have checked its guidance to Inspectors with design issues in mind.

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2nd November 2020
The Framework's November 2020 key date

November 2020 marks the date for the full application of the Housing Delivery Test.  It is not so much like bonfire and fireworks' night but more like gathering leaves in a gale.

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24th August 2020
Is design becoming more important in planning appeals?

Quality as well as quantity is a persistent theme in the Government’s messages to planners but is design being cited more often in appeals?

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26th June 2020
Converting a garage into a dwelling

A recent High Court Judgment has made it more difficult to convert a stand-alone garage into a dwelling, where the dwelling is in the countryside.

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15th June 2020
Do up-to-date Local Plans reduce appeal success rates?

We put to the test the theory that an up-to-date Local Plan reduces the number of appeals allowed by comparing 2 years of statistics.

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4th May 2020
Planning Inspectorate's Response to Covid19

The Planning Inspectorate's new procedures in response to Covid19 could change appeal procedures forever.

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20th April 2020
Housing Need in Planning Appeals

If there is a high level of housing need, the Inspector may be justified in giving greater weight to the provision of new housing, irrespective of whether or not a LPA is achieving its targets. 

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23rd March 2020
Applying the Building Better, Building Beautiful Report

There is widespread support for implementing the report's recommendations and we can all agree on certain design issues.... or can we?

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16th March 2020
Planning for the Future

Following the Chancellor’s budget last week, the Government has announced its intention to modernise the planning system with an ‘ambitious’ Planning White Paper.

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12th March 2020
The Housing Delivery Test

A change to the HDT's methodology has increased the annual housing need figure for most local authorities with a mean increase of 19 percent between 2017/18 and 2018/19.

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17th February 2020
Will Rethinking the Planning System make the Housing Delivery Test redundant?

The Housing Delivery Test (HDT) results may be irrelevant next year if the Government follow the ideas in the radical report 'Rethinking the Planning System for the 21st Century'.

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6th January 2020
Allowing development outside settlement boundaries

The High Court confirmed an Inspector’s discretion to allow development beyond settlement boundaries despite reasonable housing land supply.  There are five aspects of this case that will interest others considering similar cases.

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9th December 2019
How important are Design Guides in planning appeals?

With design rising up the agenda, how many planning appeals actually cite local or national design policies?  The findings are surprising.

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18th November 2019
Is the National Design Guide a planner's dream or nightmare?

The National Design Guide was published in October 2019 alongside updates to NPPG.  Is it a blessing or a curse?

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28th October 2019
Self Build Planning Appeals

The Right-to-Build-Portal provided by the NaCSBA provides an online summary that enables you to easily compare the number of people registered for self-build plots against the number of plots with planning permission in every LPA.

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2nd October 2019
Five Year Supply successfully challenged at Milton Keynes

The recently adopted Plan for Milton Keynes was found to be out-of-date with less than a five year supply of housing land, reflecting the revised definition of a deliverable site in the Feb 2019 Framework. The Inspector agreed there was some 'optimism bias' in the Council's delivery estimates.

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1st September 2019
Are previous appeals relevant?

Previous appeal decisions are relevant according to the High Court.  In a Judgment issued on 29/01/2019, the High Court ruled that an earlier appeal decision is capable of being a “material planning consideration” that must be taken into account by an appeal Inspector.

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1st August 2019
Self build supported by inspector

A recent appeal decision found that the need to meet self-build and custom-build demand outweighed conflict with the local development plan.

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12th April 2019
Latest housing need figures

The debate over whether we need any more houses can be highly emotive between appellants and objectors.  National statistics can move the debate to a more objective level.

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4th March 2019
Rosewell Report on appeal inquiries

An independent review of Planning Appeal Inquiries chaired by Bridget Rosewell OBE has made recommendations on how to make planning inquiries faster and more effective.

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15th February 2019
When is a site 'Isolated'?

Local planning authorities who refuse housing because it is 'isolated' could be in trouble given the Courts ruling on the application of this word in a planning context.

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2nd April 2018
Personal circumstances support a dwelling

Generally an appellant's personal circumstances are ignored in an appeal, but there are a small number of cases where it can be relevant.  In this case the Inspector afforded considerable weight to the exceptional medical circumstances of the appellant and his need for the proposed dwelling.

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