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Performance update – May 2023

On a monthly basis, we publish the latest official statistics on appeals performance, which represent the greatest volume (in terms of number of cases) of the work of the Planning Inspectorate.

We also update the appeals handling times data to give customers the latest information on the average time it takes to receive a decision and provide an update on our other main casework areas.


Our appeal cases are dealt with in one of three ways; written representations, hearings, or inquiries. Ministerial performance measures include an expectation to reduce average decision times over time and make our decision speeds more consistent. All our decision times are measured from the day we receive a valid appeal through to the day we issue a decision. This is the same approach Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) use for application times.

The median decision time for cases decided in April 2023 was 29 weeks matching the average over the past 12 months. The number of decisions made in April 2023 was 1,308. This is lower than most months as many of our colleagues take some time off over Easter.

At the end of April 2023, there were 14,031 cases open. We have continued to focus on reducing our caseload in recent months, to bring more consistency and quality. In April we closed more cases (1,452) than we received (1,450). The number of open cases has fallen since the peak in November 2022, but we recognise we have much further to go.

Median decision times

Decisions on planning appeals by hearing are continuing to get faster now they are following the same timetable as appeals being considered by inquiry. We are continuing to decide older planning hearing cases, which increases the overall median decision time.

The median time for inquiries under the Rosewell process over the 12 months to April 2023 is 30 weeks and the median time to decision for April 2023 was 25 weeks.

12 months to April 2023 median decision time April 2023 median decision time
Planning appeals by written representations 27 weeks 27 weeks
Planning appeals by hearing 42 weeks  27 weeks
Planning appeals by inquiry  31 weeks 29 weeks
Enforcement appeals by written representations  47 weeks  53 weeks
Enforcement appeals by hearing 73 weeks 70 weeks
Enforcement appeals by inquiry 82 weeks 114 weeks
All appeals 29 weeks 29 weeks

National Infrastructure

We have a high number of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) at various stages:

  • 69 where we are providing advice before submission
  • 20 submitted and at acceptance, pre-examination, or examination
  • 2 where we are preparing our recommendation
  • 7 where the relevant Secretary of State is considering our recommendation

The work to examine NSIPs is key to the economic growth of the country. Among those applications most recently accepted for examination are:

  • West Burton Solar Project comprising four electricity generating stations, each with anticipated capacity in excess of 50MW
  • Hinckley National Rail Freight Interchange including railway sidings and freight transfer area alongside the two-track railway between Hinckley and Leicester.
  • Gate Burton Energy Park comprising the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) generating panels and on-site energy storage facilities and grid connection infrastructure.

Local Plans

There are currently 52 live Local Plan examinations in progress.

We encourage Local Planning Authorities (LPA) to use our advisory visits to help them get their plans in good shape and deal with challenges well before submission.

In the last week, the North Norfolk Local Plan has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for independent examination.

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