It’s an age-old question: how long does a planning appeal take?

Still waiting for your appeal decision? You’re not the only one! Progress on planning appeals is still slow and may even be getting worse.

Every year, the government publishes detailed statistics on planning appeals, including how long – on average – planning appeals have taken to reach a decision. 

Annual statistics (July 2022) reveal decisions on planning appeals slower than ever

Their most recent annual report in July 2022 indicates that decisions are currently taking longer than at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It reveals the average time to decide an appeal case in June 2022 was 27 weeks, whilst more complex cases – including enforcement appeals, heritage appeals and appeals determined by a Hearing or Public Inquiry – took considerably longer. These average timings are up by around 3 weeks on 2021 and by around 5 weeks on 2019 – 2020. 

Of course, these timings are only averages and many of our own appeal cases are taking even longer than this.

Our current “record” is 52 weeks without a decision and this standard appeal concerns a single dwelling in Essex only.

Appeals slowed down dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic (and its lockdowns) as the Inspectorate’s workforce reduced, offices were closed and site visits postponed, etc. 

However, it has now been more than 6 months since all COVID-19-related restrictions were lifted in the UK and the government has increased its staff of Planning Inspectors by more than 50 since 2021. 

It is of some concern, therefore, that we now seem to be further from a return to normal progress on planning appeals than we were at the start of the year.

A return to normal appeal timings may be a way off yet

Planning Direct is keeping a close eye on the government’s monthly appeals statistics and remains hopeful that the backlog of cases will begin to clear – and timings on appeal decisions will return to normal – sooner rather than later. The festive season is sure to throw another spanner in the works, however, as will any forthcoming Planning Bills. 

The moral of the story is this: if you’re thinking of appealing a planning decision, you should act as quickly as possible as you’re almost certain to face delays further down the line. 

If you require assistance with a planning appeal, contact us today using the button below. Our initial advice is always free of charge.

You can also find more helpful information on planning appeals – including what they are, what you need to submit and how much they cost – using the button below.

Got a head for statistics? Access the Planning Inspectorate’s full statistical release for 2022 (planning appeals) using the button below.

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