• Issue 38

  • Jul 2018

The Source

PINS Performance Rated as ‘Unacceptable’

The Planning Inspectorate has published its annual report which shows that it has failed to meet some of its planning and enforcement appeal decision targets, resulting in them rating their own performance as mixed, if not unacceptable.

While it notes that its performance has improved in 2017/18 compared to 2016/17, it still acknowledges that its performance was ‘unacceptable’ and the level of service provided fell short of their expectations, particularly in the determination of appeals:

  • For appeals determined by written representations, only 76.7% were decided in 14 weeks compared to a target of 80%.
  • For appeals determined by a hearing, only 31.4% were decided in 14 weeks, compared to a target of 80%.

Despite a poor appeals performance, PINS did meet all of its Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects casework targets and 98% of local plan examinations were completed within their agreed timeframes.

The failure to meet targets has been attributed to several factors, including recruitment problems and an increase in casework. The report also states that PINS “are taking forward actions, ranging from recruitment to service transformation, to recover from the situation and take us to a sustainable position.”

Sarah Richards, Chief Executive at PINS, said: “We are continuing to change and adapt to improve the time it takes to determine appeals and meet our customers’ expectations. Changing our processes and IT systems takes time and we must do this without jeopardising our delivery of quality decisions in an open, fair, and impartial manner.

“A key foundation of our Transformation Programme is ensuring our customers receive the service they deserve and to ensure our processes support the government’s objective to build the homes and infrastructure the country needs.”

The Planning Inspectorate Annual Report and Account 2017/18 can be found on the UK Government website.