Written appeals have been set this year at a new '80 per cent to be decided within 20 weeks' target, despite achieving only 25 weeks under last year's 22-week target. For hearings, decisions took 47 weeks against a target of 43; for inquiry cases 56 against 51 - again for the best 80 per cent. New targets for hearings are 33 weeks and for inquiries 44. Two annual reports from the Planning Inspectorate1 set out the details. Hearings are proving popular with appellants and authorities, rising to 12.6 per cent of appeals. Formal public inquiries now constitute only seven per cent of appeals.
In Wales, where hearings make up 15.2 per cent and their success rate is 45 per cent against England's 39 per cent, decision times are better: 80 per cent in 16 weeks for written replies, 28 weeks for hearings and 42 weeks for inquiries.