PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making PAS Autumn Conference 2015 Mary Travers Group Manager (Plans) The Planning Inspectorate Outline PINS Role The Role of the Inspector Current Challenges Plans Examinations Appeals Discussion groups and feedback PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 2
The role of PINS Our purpose: to deliver impartial decisions, recommendations and advice to customers in a fair, open and timely manner Our mission: to hold the confidence of Ministers and the public and to use our expertise and experience to play a key role in positive planning for England and Wales, fulfilling our purpose by focusing on customer service, our people and the prudent use of public money Our values: impartiality, fairness and openness PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 3 Role of the Inspector
Appointed by the Secretary of State Evidence-based decisions and recommendations Natural justice Inquisitorial No evidence of his/her own
Consistency of decisions `Reasonable judgment required in law Not a policy maker Tesco v Dundee PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 4 Current Challenges for PINS
Expansion in types of work Faster decision making Expectations of localism Policy change Resources PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 5 Plans examinations - overview 28 Plans published (11 Strategic Plans) 72 Plans in examination (46 Strategic Plans) 85% of our work is at Level 3 82% of LPAs have reached publication stage or beyond 62 LPAs are yet to publish a Strategic Plan Implications of 2017 deadline
PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 6 PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 7 Plan submissions by financial year (15/16 projected) PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 8 Average Duration Strategic Plan Examinations (weeks) PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making
9 Purpose of the examination At the examination stage the Inspector will assess: i) Whether the plan meets the legal and procedural requirements (note the implication of the legal duty to co-operate) and ii) Whether the plan is sound and capable of adoption Criteria for soundness (NPPF #182): positively prepared; justified; effective; consistent with national policy Starting point is the assumption that the LPA has submitted what it considers to be a sound plan 62 LPAs are yet to publish a Strategic Plan PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 10
The big issues in examinations Duty to co-operate Sustainability appraisal Objective assessment of needs, especially for housing Planning positively to meet needs Deliverability of plans Five-year housing land supply i) Whether the plan meets the legal and procedural requirements (note the implication of the legal duty to co-operate) an PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 11 OAN and the housing requirement OAN - the fundamental starting point
Clarity about the two-stage approach is essential Meeting the needs of the LPA area and the HMA All needs including affordable housing must be included in OAN Potential `uplift for affordable housing Market signals and the plans response PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 12 Housing requirement and the DtC Sub-regional issues and complex, cross-boundary HMAs
Aligned core strategies, joint core strategies and emerging subregional strategies Some positive outcomes and some cases to watch; City Deals and other initiatives PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 13 Tips for success at examination Preparation, collaboration, engagement Evidence-based plans that address the critical issues
Use the support available and self-assess critically Only submit if satisfied the plan is sound/legally compliant During the examination, work co-operatively with representors and the Inspector See Examining Local Plans: Procedural Practice: 3rd Edition, PINS, December 2013 (currently under review) PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 14 Applications and appeals 2014/5 Planning applications decided: 410,000 Planning applications granted: 360,000 Planning applications
refused: 50,000 Planning Appeals decided: 14,934 Appeals allowed: 4,847 SUMMARY 88% of applications are granted locally 3.6% of planning decisions go to appeal
32.5% of appeals are allowed 98.8% of local decisions stand PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 15 Planning - appeals caseload received 2004/05 2014/15 * includes Householder and Commercial Appeals Service cases PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 16
Decision outcomes Year 2013-2014 Allowed/Dismissed Number % Allowed 4870 35.14% Dismissed
65.57% 14071 PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 17 Decision outcomes for major appeals Year 13-14 Development type Major dwellings 14-15
13-14 Major offices 14-15 13-14 14-15 Major retail Allowed Dismissed Allowed Dismissed 252
243 50.91% 49.09% 282 306 47.96% 52.04% 2 3
40.00% 60.00% 2 3 40.00% 60.00% 9 9 50.00%
50.00% 18 15 54.55% 45.45% PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 18 Decision making on planning applications/appeals Contrast with plan-making and plan examinations Usually focused on a single site
Limited/partial evidence base Not likely to be based on or permit collaborative approach to planning for the area Parties (appellant and immediate local community) arguably disinterested in `whole area planning PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 19 Role of the parties at appeal hearing Persuade the Inspector of your point of view Provide him/her with the facts Ensure the Inspector understands your case Assist him/her to prepare properly Conduct your case in a way that assists the smooth running of the hearing/inquiry
PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 20 How to conduct your case Dont leave things until the last minute! Do involve your advocate at an early stage Do talk to the opposing party well before the event Do make sure you have identified the principal matters in contention Ensure you have also addressed concerns of third parties and anything else the Inspector might need to raise PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 21 Be prepared
Co-operate with the opposition Narrow down areas of difference/identify common ground Agree the main issues/ identify the principal matters in contention Submit statements of case, proofs of evidence and statements of common ground on time Indicate in advance the number of witnesses you will call and estimated timings for presentation of your case PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 22 Lessons from housing land supply appeals (1) Correct use of terminology (OAN, housing requirement, backlog, shortfall, buffer, trajectory) Robust assessment of the land supply Primacy of the development plan as the starting point
Plan period and NPPF consistency Relevant policies for the supply of housing (NPPF #49) PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 23 Lessons from housing land supply appeals (2) Because the business of calculating the supply of housing land involves assumptions and judgment there will sometimes not be a single right answer to the question can the local planning authority demonstrate a five-year supply?But since this question has considerable significance for the application of government policy in NPPF, a robust calculation is essential [Bloor Homes East Midlands Ltd ] Different approaches reflect the particulars of each case Is HLS a determinative matter in the appeal?
PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 24 Conclusions Governments commitment to plan-led system and delivery Focus on full coverage of plans PINS role; WMS July 2015; Secretary of States letter to PINS; Local Plans Expert Group Community/LPA-led planning need for vision Primacy of plan but (still) needs to be soundly based Right to appeal; evidence must objectively support the case PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 25
QUESTIONS? PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 26 Topics for discussion (plans) What more can LPAs do to help ensure a smooth run through an LP examination? Which elements pose the greatest difficulties for LPAs? Is PINS offering the help you need from us? Are there specific areas where you would like to have more help and from whom? PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 27
Topics for discussion (appeals) Which aspects of the appeals system pose the greatest challenges for LPAs? How can these be better managed? What needs to be done to reduce the propensity to appeal? Are there new/improved ways in which PINS/Inspectors might help LPAs and other parties get the best out of the appeals experience? PINS, Local Plan Examinations and Decision Making 28
Aim: How are the pressure and volume of a confined gas related? Essential Questions: Why are gases compressible? Describe relationship between pressure exerted on a confined gas and its volume.. Why are weather balloons only filled partway with Helium gas?
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