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Inspectors set to agree timescales at the outset of all appeals

Massive delays on planning appeal decisions will soon be a thing of the past, the boss of the Planning Inspectorate has pledged.

Katrine Sporle, responding to criticism of the government's 18-month delay in reaching a decision on Chapman Taylor's Coppergate II (AJ 18.9.03), said in future architects will know when to expect a decision.

She told the AJ that she intends to make planning inspectors agree timetables for the length of inquiries at the outset of all appeals, and ensure all parties stick to them. 'Inspectors will have to produce a timescale at the beginning and deliver against it, ' she said. 'People want certainty about when they can expect a decision and this is what we should aim to achieve.

'We cannot be expected to deal with all the massive cases within the 16-week target, but we can make sure that everyone is certain ofhow long they will take.'

Sporle also added that she wants to reduce the average length of time for all planning appeals. 'We are keen to ensure that the time it takes to process a decision should be brought down as some of the cases do take a long time, ' she said.

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