Planning inquiries
Planning inquiries

The following Planning guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Planning inquiries
  • Purpose of inquiries
  • Legislation and guidance
  • Pre-inquiry
  • During the inquiry
  • Timescales
  • Following the inquiry
  • Review of planning appeal inquiries

Purpose of inquiries

Planning and listed building consent applications are made to the local planning authority (LPA). Appeals are made to the Planning Inspectorate and may be made for a number of reasons, but most are made because the LPA has refused permission or consent. See Practice Note: Planning appeals—key points.

A planning inquiry allows an inspector, the Secretary of State (SoS) or the Welsh Ministers to decide whether or not planning permission should be granted. An inspector, appointed by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS), hears evidence from:

  1. the developer

  2. the LPA, and

  3. any other interested parties

Legislation and guidance

Public inquiries determined by inspectors in England are governed by the Town and Country Planning Appeals (Determination by Inspectors) (Inquiries Procedure) (England) Rules 2000 (the English Inspectors’ Appeal Procedure Rules).

Inquiries determined by the SoS in England are governed by the Town and Country Planning (Inquiries Procedure) (England) Rules 2000 (the English SoS Appeal Procedure Rules).

In Wales, public inquiries determined by inspectors or by the SoS are governed by the Town and Country Planning (Referred Applications and Appeals Procedure) (Wales) Regulations 2017 (the Welsh Inquiry Procedure Rules).

The English Inspectors’ Appeal Procedure Rules, English SoS Appeal Procedure Rules and Welsh Inquiry Procedure Rules are together referred to as the Inquiry Procedure Rules.

PINS has published separate procedural guidance on planning